Be a Tennessee Guardian of Democracy

4 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 (elections, judges, machine operators, precinct registrars) You must be 17+, registered to vote in Tennessee, resident of state house legislative district or county for 30+ days prior to election, complete training. $120+.

  • To sign up, contact your county election commission, contact details here.


Between 60 & 10 days before the election, the county election commission shall appoint at least 3 judges, officer of elections, and as many inspectors as necessary to each polling place. No more than 2 of the judges at a polling place may be of the same political party, if persons from different political parties are willing to serve. As nearly as practicable, no more than 1/2 of the number of election officials at a polling place and no more than 1/2 of the whole number of inspectors may be members of the same political party.


Each political party and any organization of citizens interested in a question on the ballot or interested in preserving the purity of elections and in guarding against abuse of the elective franchise may appoint poll watchers. The county election commission may require organizations to produce evidence that they are entitled to appoint watchers. All appointed poll watchers must have reached the age of seventeen (17) by election day. A spouse of a candidate on the ballot shall not be eligible for appointment as a poll watcher. Each political party which has candidates in the election and each citizens’ organization may have two (2) watchers at each polling place. One (1) of the watchers representing a party may be appointed by the chair of the county executive committee of the party and the other by a majority of the candidates of that party running exclusively within the county in which the watchers are appointed. 

No person may be admitted to a polling place except election officials, voters, persons properly assisting voters, the press, poll watchers appointed under § 2-7-104 and others bearing written authorization from the county election commission.

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

If any person’s right to vote is challenged by any other person present at the polling place, the judges shall present the challenge to the person. 

Resources for Tennessee:

  • Retweetable Tweet with links for Tennessee 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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