Recent changes in state law have changed Election Day procedures as well as the rights and responsibilities of poll watchers. Regarding poll watchers, those with credentials (watcher certificates) can serve in any precinct within their county of residence. Watchers also can:

Inspect all voting machines and counters before polls open
Inspect the list of absentee ballots received when polls open
Clearly hear the name of each person entering the poll to vote
Inspect the book signed by the voter at will
Remain with the election board throughout the process of
counting votes after 8 p.m.

In addition, every person voting for the first time in the precinct must display proper identification. This is not an option, but a requirement of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002. If a voter is unable or unwilling to show proper identification, they must cast a provisional ballot. Please note: Provisional ballots are NEVER opened at the polling place.

Regarding absentee ballots ... they may not under any circumstances be opened until polls close at 8 p.m.

Anyone in line to vote at 8 p.m. must be permitted to vote, but no one arriving after that time can. At 8 p.m., the judge of elections should go to the back of the line to signify the end of voting.

Finally, electioneering may not take place within 10 feet of the entrance to the polling place. Conversely, any attempt to interfere with electioneering more than 10 feet from the door closest to the polling place is a violation of law.

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