Be a New York Guardian of Democracy

3 mins read

What’s the difference between Poll Worker & Poll Watcher?

Poll Worker:
Nonpartisan, Paid (Clerks, Judges, Inspectors, Checker, Precinct Worker)

Poll Watcher:
Partisan, Volunteer (Observers, Monitors, Challengers)



To be a poll worker (Election Commissioner) You must be 18+, registered to vote in New York, Political affiliation required, must be a resident of county or in New York city must be a resident of city, complete training course & an exam Translator positions also required. To sign up contact your County Board of Elections. 


Appointments made by county board on or before the 15th of July of each year, from designations certified by party’s county or city committee chair by May 1, and fromboard’s additional recruitment efforts as necessary

Approx DEADLINE to sign up to be a Poll Worker

July 15, 2020


At any general, special, town or village election, any party committee or independent body whose candidates are upon the ballot, and at any primary election, any two or more candidates and any political committee may have for each election district three watchers at any one time, not more than one of whom may be within the guard rail at any one time. Watchers shall be appointed by the chairman of any such party, committee or independent body or by the candidates. Each watcher must be a qualified voter of the city or county in which he is to serve No person shall be appointed or act as a watcher who is a candidate for any public office to be voted for by the voters of the election district in the same election in which the watcher is to serve. 

Who is Authorized to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day?

Before his vote is cast, any person may be challenged by any registered voter properly in the polling place, watcher, or clerk or inspector of election. An inspector shall challenge every person offering to vote, who he shall know or suspect is not entitled to vote in the district, and every person whose name appears on the list of persons to be challenged on Election Day which is furnished by the board of elections.

Resources for New York:

  • Retweetable Tweet with links for New York here.
  • Shareable FB post & downloadable graphic here.
  • GoogleDoc here.

POLL WORKER (and Poll Watcher) Requirements & links to sign-up in All 50 States, STATE BY STATE Including:

  • Who is Authorised to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day? 
  • & Links to retweetable TWEETS & shareable FB Posts for each State
  • Twitter THREAD with links here.
  • Facebook shareable Album with downloadable graphics here.
  • On the Postcards for America website here.
  • On the Unhack the Vote Website here.

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Postcards for America gives you PC2As (Postcarders Calls to Action) on key bills, topics and issues so you have all the info you need to write your Reps about your concerns.
Addresses, background information and even Suggested Wording provided.

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