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Protect Our Vote – Be a Poll Watcher

Casting a ballot is your most fundamental right as an American. Everyone in the process, from voters and administrators to candidates and their supporters, must work to ensure that voting runs smoothly. Machine failures, clerical errors, weary voters exhausted by long lines and uncertainty in crowded polling places—and sometimes over-zealous candidates and campaign volunteers—can serve to discourage and even turn away voters on Election Day.

The Horry County Democratic Party is devoted to ensuring our voters can cast their votes in an efficient and non-threatening environment on November 8, 2016.

poll-watcherFrom the sidelines, properly trained Poll Watchers can set a balanced and objective tone to the proceedings and help identify any issues before they escalate. Ultimately, the goal is to see that all eligible voters vote.

On Election Day, Poll Watchers may be assigned to one polling place or to rove among several locations. Volunteers may serve for all or part of the day. With 122 precincts in Horry County, HCDP needs an army of volunteers to help protect the vote on November 8, so sign up today!

Following are some facts about Poll Watching and a schedule of trainings in the next few days.

What makes a Qualified Poll Watcher?

A Poll Watcher is a volunteer credentialed by a political party or specific candidate and assigned to a specific polling place(s) for the whole or partial Election Day. A Democratic Poll Watcher must be a registered voter in the county where they are assigned, and must be approved by the County Chair of the Democratic Party based on personal knowledge and/or training.

[Note: a Poll Worker is paid by the Horry County Voters Registration & Elections to work for the entire Election Day. Training is required. For information, call 843-915-5440.]

What is a Poll Watcher Authorized to Perform?

By listening to and observing the voting procedures employed within a polling place on Election Day, a qualified Poll Watcher can help to ensure that voters cast their votes without interference or intimidation.

By law (S.C. Code 7-13-860), Poll Watchers are authorized to observe the conduct of elections at a distance close enough to hear conversations between voters and Poll Managers and to observe the registration and sign-in books. In addition, Poll Watchers are authorized to observe the processing of any paper ballots used in the election; the opening and closing of the machines; to inspect and record the final count of votes as announced; and the sealing of ballot containers after the Polls have closed.

Another key task for Poll Watchers is to request the number of persons having voted at various times during the election, generally at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 7:00 pm. Usually, Poll Watchers call these numbers into a central location (usually the county party’s “boiler room”). When the polling location is closed, Poll Watchers are authorized to inspect the public count of voters for all offices and record the final count of votes.

Upcoming Trainings
  • Saturday, Oct. 1, 10:30 am – Northwest Action Dems, Kingston Lake Missionary Baptist Education and Community Center, 3410 Church St, Loris, SC 29569
  • Monday, Oct. 3, 5:30 pm – HCDP Campaign HQ, 909 Norman Alley, Conway, SC 29526
  • Thursday, Oct. 6, 11:00 am – HCDP Campaign HQ, 909 Norman Alley, Conway, SC 29526

Additional trainings may be scheduled by emailing Grace Gifford or call HCDP Campaign HQ at (843)488-4237

Learn more about voting in Horry County.


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