Be a Rhode Island 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 (Moderators, Clerks) You must be 18+, registered to vote in Rhode Island, Able to read the Constitution of the State in English, Able to write own name. To signup, contact your local board of canvassers. 


For cities, 35 days+ before election, local board shall appoint, using party lists submitted 45+ days before election, a warden & clerk from different parties. The local board of each city and town, 35+ days before election, shall appoint 2 pairs of supervisors from different parties. Supervisors shall, if possible, be appointed from list of eligible voters in same manner as provided for appointment of wardens & clerks in cities. 

Approx DEADLINE to sign up to be a Poll Worker

September 19, 2020


The officers required to furnish and equip any voting place shall also provide a table in the room where the voting is conducted, outside the enclosed space near the first bipartisan pair of supervisors, at which a representative of each recognized political party bearing credentials signed by the proper ward or town committee chairperson, shall be allowed to sit for the purpose of keeping track of those who are voting,  and these representatives, who shall be known as “checkers,” may be changed during the day. A representative, known as a “runner,” of each of the parties shall be allowed to come to the table at frequent intervals for the purpose of taking whatever list or memoranda the checkers may wish to give the runner. A representative of each recognized political party bearing credentials signed by the proper ward or town committee chairperson, shall also be allowed outside the enclosed place to observe the voting and assist the checkers, and these representatives shall be known as “watchers.”

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

The watchers and any election official shall have the right to challenge the right to vote of any person offering himself or herself as a voter.

Resources for Rhode Island:

  • Retweetable Tweet with links for Rhode Island 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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