Election Watcher FAQs

For additional information please read the Election Watcher Mini Guide.

Election Watcher Appointment Request Form

Who can be a Election Watcher?
  • An eligible elector other than a candidate on the ballot who has been selected by:
    • A political party chairperson on behalf of the political party during general elections.
    • A party candidate at a primary or recall election.
    • An unaffiliated candidate at a general, congressional vacancy, nonpartisan, or recall election.
    • A person designated by a registered issue committee supporting or opposing a ballot issue or ballot question.
      • If selected by a political party chairperson, a party candidate, or an unaffiliated candidate, the watcher must be affiliated with that political party or unaffiliated as shown on the registration books of the county clerk and recorder.
Who cannot be a Election Watcher?
  • Neither candidates nor members of their immediate families by blood, marriage or civil union to the second degree may be election watchers for that candidate.
How do I appoint Election Watchers?
  • Individuals authorized to appoint election watchers should fill out the Election Watcher Appointment Request Form, making sure to complete the Enter_Request_Org tab and the Location Assignments tab information.
  • To have full access, watchers must complete the Colorado Secretary of State’s Watcher Training Course.
  • Consult the Secretary of State Table of Consanguinity to identify who can and cannot be a poll watcher; the yellow boxes denote prohibited family members.
  • Submit these lists as early as possible. Processing of election watcher certificates starts approximately two weeks prior to an election and are processed in the order received. The earlier the request is sent, the better.
  • All names on the appointment list will be checked for voter registration status. Appointment Certificates will then be created and emailed to the individual requestor.
  • Use the Election Watcher Appointment Request to list your appointees. Email the completed request, as well as certificate of completion for Watcher Training Course to Adams.elections@adcogov.org.
What can Election Watchers Do?
  • Watchers who have completed SOS provided training will have full access; others will have limited access
Do’s Full Access Limited Access
May witness and verify election activity: x
Setup and breakdown of Voter Service and Polling Centers x
Voter check-in and registration activities x
 Ballot receipt and processing x
Signature verification of mail ballot envelopes at close enough distance

To challenge the signature

Ballot duplication x x
Ballot tabulation x x
The logic and accuracy test and post-election audit x x
Provisional ballot processing x
UOCAVA ballot processing x
Canvass x x
Recount x x
Has personal visual access at a reasonable proximity to read documents, writings or electronic screens and reasonable proximity to hear election-related discussions between election judges and electors x
On request, is provided a list, log, check-in card, or other similar information of voters appearing in a Voter Service and polling center to vote x x
May track the names of electors who have cast ballots x
Can escalate a signature for a second review by a bipartisan team of election judges x
May escalate up to 10 ballot envelope signatures in an hour x

*Please carefully read the State Statute and Colorado Secretary of State Rules regarding election watchers. The State Statute and State Rules are available here.

What can an Election Watcher not do?
  • Interrupt or disrupt the processing, verification, and counting of any ballot or any other stage of the election.
  • Touch or handle the official signature cards, ballots, mail ballot envelopes, provisional ballot envelopes, voting or counting machines, or machine components.
  • Interfere with the orderly conduct of any election process, including issuance of ballots, receiving of ballots, and voting or counting of ballots.
  • Interact with election judges except for the designated watcher contact.
  • Use a mobile phone or other electronic device to make or receive a call in any place election activities are conducted.
  • Attempt to determine how any specific elector voted.
  • Disclose or record any confidential voter information that may be observed.
  • Disclose any results before the polls have closed.
Can a Election Watcher visit more than one location?
  • Yes, an Election Watcher can be certified to visit more than one location.
  • If a watcher leaves a precinct and the same watcher returns later in the day to the same precinct, another certificate of appointment is not necessary and shall not be required. The original certificate of appointment will suffice.
  • However, if a watcher is replaced during the day, the watcher replacing the original watcher must have an original certificate of appointment for that precinct. The Certificate of Appointment as a watcher is not transferable to another individual.