note: you can be a poll watcher in ANY COUNTY / ANY Precinct ... you do NOT have to live in the area to poll watch!
Help make Illinois Elections More Honest
Become a Poll Watcher -- Here's how:
What is a Poll Watcher, and Why Should I Become One?
A poll watcher is a citizen who is assigned by a political party, candidate, or qualified organization to observe activities at a polling place to guard against illegal voting, fraudulent counting of ballots, and other violations of elections laws.
Election fraud is a major concern in Illinois so poll watchers are particularly important here. In addition to the poll watchers role to point out errors or irregularities and report those not corrected, Marilyn Dent of Honest Elections Illinois stated that the very presence of poll watchers goes a long way toward preventing fraud. Therefore, you may spend a day at the polls and see nothing irregular. That does not mean that your presence was not needed.
Many poll watchers are needed in the Chicago suburbs, and this is a job that we hope every patriot will consider doing. The purpose of this email is to tell you how to go about becoming a poll watcher. There is a lot of information to cover, and it would be helpful for you to have a little background information before finishing this email.
That can be obtained in a 2-page pdf explaining poll watching in Illinois. Note that this is intended to be a 2-sided tri-folded brochure so the front panel is on page 2. Other than that, everything is in the right order. It is available here: http://www.elections.il.gov/downloads/electioninformation/pdf/pollwtch.pdf.
How Do I Become a Poll Watcher
You will need to complete two steps in order to become a poll watcher. We will provide detailed information to help you do both. And, if you run into problems, we will do whatever we can to help you.
Step One – Training
Although training is not technically required by law, it is extremely important.
The training we recommend is on-line, and once you complete it, it will be clear to you why you needed it. Without training, you won’t know what poll watchers are allowed to do, what you are looking for, or what to do if you see something. Training will provide this information. It will also protect you from getting into trouble by inadvertently doing something poll watchers are not allowed to do. We recommend the on-line training provided by True the Vote.
You obtain the training by signing up at www.truethevote.org. If you are not computer savvy, we have provided detailed step-by-step instructions for accessing this training on this page. Even if you are a techy, we suggest you take a look at them since there are a couple of spots where there is additional information you need that is not stated on the website. The training video is one hour long; however, you will probably find you want to review parts of it again. They also provide an e-booklet with most of the information in the training, which you may want to print and take with you on election day.
Step Two – Obtain credentials
Credentials are required by law, and they are provided by candidates or certain organizations that are authorized to provide them.
Candidates are the easiest way to get them. We recommend that you obtain credentials through a candidate who shares our values, who is at risk of losing, and whose district is likely to have problems with voter fraud. Here is how to hook up with two candidates who meet these criteria:
Joe Walsh – Joe is running for re-election for US Congress in the 8th Congressional District just north of us, where there are 255 polling locations needing poll watchers.
Joe will be providing additional information and his poll watchers need to attend a meeting from 3:00 - 6:00 pm on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall, 1170 W. Devon Ave, Elk Village IL.
At this meeting, you will receive a packet with your polling location, as well as other information and instructions, including a list of voters for your location and your credentials. This meeting will overlap with most people's dinner time so plan to eat before you go or immediately afterwards. Food will not be served at the meeting.
This meeting does not replace the True the Vote training, but it will make you even more comfortable and confident in your role as a poll watcher.
To volunteer to poll watch for Joe, contact Sharon Keller, who is heading up Joe’s poll watching efforts. Email Sharon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (310) 871-3611. She seems to prefer phone calls but will respond to email also. You will be asked to sign up for one of two shifts on Election Day: 6 am - 10:00 am and 3:00 pm - 7:30 pm. (Yes, you can sign up for both shifts.) Right now, they especially need poll watchers for the morning shift.
Pat Fee—Pat is running for the Illinois House of Representatives in a district that includes parts of Naperville, Aurora, and Oswego.
Once you have completed the training, Howard Breeden, Naperville Tea Patriots liaison to the Fee campaign, will submit your name and information to Pat Fee, who will provide credentials.
She can also assign you to the specific poll in her district where you are needed most. You will have input in making this decision. Contact Howard at: email@example.com.
If you run into problems and need help at any point in the process or have questions not answered in this email or by the training, please feel free to reply to this email. If you have questions about specific candidates poll watcher programs, you can email Howard about Pat Fee’s program. You can email Ed Novak, our liaison to Joe Walsh, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instructions for Signing-up With True the Vote Poll Watcher Training
- Go to www.truethevote.org.
- Click on the orange “Get Involved” button at the top left. This will take you to the Volunteer Registration page.
- Complete all the information with the orange “require” notation. This information is needed so that Click on the orange “Get Involved” button at the top left. This will take you to the Volunteer Registration page.
- Complete all the information with the orange “require” notation. This information is needed because you will later be given access to their leaders in Illinois who live closed to you.
- Scroll down to the “Volunteer Information” section. Under “Volunteer Interests,” click “Election Worker” (and anything else you are interested in).
- If you want to be assigned to Joe Walsh, Pat Fee, or any other GOP candidate, you will need to mark “Republican” under “Party to Represent at Poll.” Don’t worry if you consider yourself to be independent or libertarian or Tea Party or just conservative.
- You will see a “Comments” box immediately under the list of parties. In this box, write, “I am interested in the Voter Observation Training.” (This is what they call their poll watcher training.)
- Check the “Volunteer Agreement” box.
- Click the blue “Submit Registration” button.
- You will receive a confirmation email almost immediately, along with one or two other emails with links to various trainings that you may or may not want to watch. The Voter Observation link probably will not be on your list. Our experience was that an addition email or even two comes within a day or two with a link to the Voter Observation training. At that point, it will be on your dashboard and can be accessed using the directions below.
Instructions for Accessing and Completing True the Vote Poll Watcher Training
Note: You will note that the training is not state specific, and it refers to an e-book you need for your state. These e-books are not yet available, but Marilyn Dent assures us that there are few, if any, Illinois regulations that are different from those discussed in the training.
You will have access to an e-book that reviews the training. You can print this booklet and take it with you to the polls as a reference.
When the Illinois information is available, True the Vote will send you an email with a link to the Illinois booklet.
If you run into problems at any point, choose Marilyn Dent’s name from the list of Illinois contacts provided for you. Her responses are helpful and prompt.
- Go to www.truethevote.org
- Click on Portal Login at the right hand side of the black strip across the top of the webpage.
- Login in, if you are not already, and it will take you to your dashboard.
- Click “training” in the grey box at the top right-hand side of the page.
- This will take you to a page with several trainings. If you have requested and received the Voter Observation training (may take a day or two after initial sign-up), scroll down, and you will see two Voter Observation Trainings. These are identical, each with 8 chapters, averaging about 6-8 minutes each.
The only difference in the two options is...
Opt. 1 will take you to eight more buttons so you can watch each chapter separately.
Opt 2 will take you directly to all eight chapters in one video.
Choose one of the options, and click on “Access Training.”
- Click on the start arrow and watch the video. (Opt 1 will require you to click on one of the eight chapters to get to this screen.)
- When you are finished watching, Click the blue “Mark Completed” link in the white panel to the right of the screen. The video will still be available for review, but marking it helps you keep track of what you have viewed.
If you chose Opt. 1, you will mark each chapter “completed” as you do it. That Chapter will then move to the bottom of the list under a grew line marked “Chapters completed.”
If you chose Opt 2, the training video will still be available but will move to the bottom of your dashboard under a grew bar that says “Courses Vompleted.” The “Access Training” button will still be but will now say “Review Training.”
Suggestion: I you chose Opt. 1, there is a trick you can use to keep track of the chapters you think you will want to review. Mark as complete only those chapters you do not expect to need to review. Then, a little closer to election day, you can review only those chapters above the “Chapters Completed” line, which will also be marked as not being completed. You are still free to review the entire course if you decide you want to.
- When you are finished, it’s time to contact one of the candidates and let them know you want to be a poll watcher. We would appreciate it if you would also let us know (by responding to this email) so we can share any additional information with you.
If you are interested in more information, you can obtain additional Illinois specific information here: