The League of Women Voters urges your support for this bill. It is so great in this day and age, with so many interests and needs competing for everyone's time and attention, to have people willing to spend their day serving as poll watchers so that everyone can be fairly assured that our elections are as open and honest as is possible, and that any errors and omissions will be discovered in timely fashion and be corrected.
Poll watchers who volunteer their services free of charge do contribute to the success of our system. Of course, they need to know what to watch for. To do that they must be familiar with our election laws and rules and the election site procedures. It is important, we feel, that they be trained for this task, and trained by qualified instructors who know the process well and some of the possible areas for slip ups to occur.
The poll watcher needs to know what to do if he/she sees something that is interfering with the voting process or obstructing an individual's voting rights. The reporting process and the remedy must keep the disruption to the polling place at a minimum. This takes training.
Another requirement we feel, is that all partisanship be kept out of the precinct polling places. One thing everyone is agreed on, we're sure, is that elections must be honest and fair. That is the only way we get legitimately recognized elected officials. It's only natural, I guess, for members of any party to trust fellow members a little more than members of the other parties, especially when it comes to elections. But as long as we all share the same objective, that of keeping our elections honest and fair, so that at the end of the day we can all say we won fairly or lost fairly, all the workers at the polling sites, and all of the poll watchers will have accomplished a shared goal. We believe that this is the true role of poll watchers.