Expect many watchers at polling places | NevadaAppeal.com

Expect many watchers at polling places

Sam Bauman
Special to the Nevada Appeal

If you see some people standing around the polling places today with Day-Glo badges on their chests, don’t worry, they’re just poll watchers, legally on hand to observe the election and make sure everything is kosher.

As a measure of how many poll watchers may be expected, 1,900 of the Day-Glo badges were produced.

To be a poll watcher ” and predictions are that there will literally be thousands scattered around Nevada due to the contentious nature of the presidential vote ” they must sign a form from the Nevada Secretary of State agreeing to the following:

– Not to talk to voters in the polling places, which means they must stay 100 feet away from the voting area;

– Not to use a mobile phone within the polling place;

– Not wear clothing that displays any written material or otherwise advocate for or against any candidate, political party, ballot question or campaign issue related to the election;

– Not to argue for or against or challenge any decision of county or city election officials;

– Not to interfere with the conduct of the voting.

In specific terms, watchers are there to watch and only act within specific limits.

Carson City Clerk Alan Glover passed along these restrictions while busily working at the Carson Community Center, making sure that all the voting machines were ready and able for today.

“Poll watchers were here for the early voting, but I didn’t see them do anything other than following a few voters out into the parking lot,” Glover said. “Obama’s people said they would have three lawyers here as poll watchers.”

Reportedly, the Obama campaign has “close to 1,000” lawyers prepared to observe polling sites.

Sen. John McCain’s Nevada campaign said Republicans have “hundreds of attorneys” coming to Nevada.

Challenging individual voters at the polling places would be difficult for campaigns under Nevada laws.

Voters need not fear that the poll watchers will interfere with their right to a free and private choice.