What Does It Take To Be A Poll Watcher?
by: David Pitman, October 26, 2012 11:10:00 am
Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says the requirements to watch what's going on at the polls are pretty simple. You have to be a registered voter in Texas, and you have to be appointed as a poll watcher by an appointing authority.
"An appointing authority could be someone on the ballot, or it could be the political party."
Stanart says if a poll watcher notices something that appears to irregular or out of place, they cannot speak to the voters. They must take their concerns to the county clerk's office.
Poll watching does not appear to be on the agenda of members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. That's the group the attorney general singled out in his threat to prosecute, if any members got within 100 feet of a polling location.
The Secretary of State's office says it sent a message earlier this week to election officials in every county letting them know that the group is aware that it isn't qualified to conduct actual poll watching. Stanart says he didn't see that message.
"But, at the same time, I do know that they are not registered voters in the state of Texas. So it would be illegal for them to be there as a poll watcher."
Members of OSCE were recently in Bexar County to get a look at election preparations there. Stanart says no one from the organization has contacted his office to observe the set-up process here.
The letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: