Election Watcher FAQs

Election Watcher Appointment Request Form
Election Watcher Mini Guide

What is an Election Watcher?
  • An Election Watcher is an eligible voter who has been appointed by an authorized appointing entity to witness and verify the conduct of an election.
Who can be a Election Watcher?
  • To be an Election Watcher, you must:
    • Be an eligible voter in Colorado;
    • Be selected by an authorized appointing entity; and
    • Not be a candidate on the ballot nor an immediate family member by blood, marriage, or civil union to the second degree if watching for the candidate.

    Election Watchers do not need to be a resident of a county to watch in a particular county.

    See Eligibility of Watchers (PDF) for all of the eligibility requirements.

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.
Who can appoint Election Watchers?
  • Candidates, political parties, and issue committees are eligible to appoint Election Watchers depending on the type of election. See Appointment of Watchers (PDF) to view who may appoint watchers in each type of election.
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 Appointing Entity Info tab.
  • To have full access, watchers must complete the Colorado Secretary of State’s Watcher Training Course.
  • Email the completed Election Watcher request, as well as certificate of completion for the Watcher Training Course to Adams.elections@adcogov.org. Submit these lists as early as possible. Election watcher certificates 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.
What can Election Watchers Do?
  • Election Watchers who have taken the Watcher Training Course may observe election activities where confidential or personally identifiable information may be within viewing. This includes:
    • Setup and breakdown of Voter Service and Polling Centers;
    • Voter check-in and registration activities;
    • Ballot receipt and processing;
    • Signature verification of mail ballot envelopes;
    • Ballot duplication;
    • Ballot tabulation;
    • The Logic and Accuracy Test and Post-Election Audit;
    • Provisional ballot processing;
    • UOCAVA ballot processing;
    • Canvass; and
    • Recount.
What can an Election Watcher not do?
  • Election Watchers are prohibited from doing the following activities:
    • Personally interrupt or disrupt the processing, verification, and counting of any ballots or any other stage of the election including lodging repeated challenges of voters or mail ballots on bases that are not authorized by statute or these rules after being advised that such bases are not authorized.
    • Write down any ballot numbers or any other personally identifying information about the electors.
    • 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.
    • Communicate with election judges about that judge’s duties while that election judge is currently on duty, unless the judge is the designated watcher contact.
    • Use a mobile phone or other electronic device to make or receive a call an audio or video communication in any polling location or other place election activities are conducted.
    • Use any electronic device to take or record pictures, video, or audio in any polling location or other place election activities are conducted.
    • Have in their open and visible possession any mobile phone or other electronic device while watching election activities where voters’ confidential or personally identifiable information is within view.
    • Attempt to determine how any elector voted.
    • Disclose or record any confidential voter information as defined in section 24-72-204(8), C.R.S., that he or she may observe.
    • Disclose any results before the polls have closed.
    • Attempt to intimidate or interfere with an election judge or other election officials during the discharge of that judge or official’s duties.
If I have not completed the Watcher Training Course what election activities can I observe?
  • Election Watchers who have NOT completed the Watcher Training Course can observe:
    • Setup and breakdown of Voter Service and Polling Centers;
    • Ballot duplication;
    • Ballot tabulation;
    • The Logic and Accuracy Test and Post-Election Audit;
    • Canvass; and
    • Recount.
What laws and rules are applicable to Election Watchers?