What it takes to be a poll watcher this election

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Early voting begins Tuesday and President Trump has been encouraging people to be poll watchers during this election.

“I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that is what has to happen. I’m urging them to do it,” said President Trump.

Becoming a poll watcher involves more than just heading to your nearest voting location.

Potter County Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley said no one can just walk up and be a poll watcher. She said you must be assigned by a candidate, party, or someone associated with a political action committee.

She said a form has to be completed and people who want to serve in that capacity have to come to the elections office first. On election day, Huntley said poll watchers would go directly to the polling place.

There are other qualifications in place, poll watchers must be a registered voter in that county and must be appointed.

A poll watcher can not leave for five hours unless to take a phone call, and even then they have to check-in.

Huntley said that there are plenty of dos and don’ts that a poll watcher must follow as well as other guidelines.

“As a poll watcher, I’m not allowed to watch you vote as a poll watcher unless someone working for me is assisting you and then I can observe what is going on. You are supposed to vote privately and you should still be able to do that,” said Huntley.

Huntley adds that a poll watcher can not communicate with a voter, whether it is verbal or nonverbal, coercing them in any way.

Huntley said if a poll watcher was at the polling location, you would most likely see them near where you check in just to make sure they are check photo IDs and following Texas laws.

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