Poll Watching

What exactly is poll watching? We've been seeing it mentioned recently amid growing concern about voter fraud.

Poll watching and being a poll worker are two different things. Poll workers sign up with and are trained by the local board of elections. They do the actual work of running the elections, sitting at the tables checking in voters, etc. In my Ohio county, the deadline to be a poll worker for the November 8 election has passed.

Poll watchers, on the other hand, are recruited by and report to the campaigns, though what they are permitted to do is governed by state law. Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns are still recruiting poll watchers. Caution: you can't just show up at a polling place with no accreditation or prior planning and be allowed to watch. Unaccredited  people aren't allowed to hang around inside polling places, for good reason.

On October 6, Trump tweeted out a link for volunteers to act as poll watchers.

The Clinton campaign has a link for poll watching volunteers posted at the bottom of the campaign website.

The Clinton form specifically asks whether volunteers are lawyers, law students, or speak one of a list of exotic languages.

Activist friends tell me that the last really good Republican poll watching operation in Ohio was by the Bush campaign in 2004. Teams of lawyers were stationed in all the major cities, with poll watchers reporting back to them to enable a quick response to any problems.

We don't know yet how well the Trump effort here will be organized, but Hillary's team will be bringing in lawyers by the planeload. Count on it.