Be a Washington 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)


Washington is a vote-by-mail state, so they do not have poll workers. Votes are counted by county-employed certified election officials. 

How it Works:

Mail your ballot or drop off in official county collection box. From there either the Post Office moves it to the county or workers bring it in from the drop box to the building for processing. 10 to 15 certified election workers employed by the county manually remove the ballot from the security envelope, and another person unfolds the ballot. Ballots are then scanned to make sure the signature matches one the county has on file. From there, another machine scans your selected candidates or initiatives. If for some reason the machine can’t read your selections, the ballot is manually checked by a human and counted.

  • To Volunteer Election Day, contact county auditors here.


Anyone has the right to observe any part of the election process. Major political parties also have a responsibility to provide observers to monitor the election process. County auditors must request that observers be appointed by the major political parties to be present during the processing of ballots at the counting center. County auditors have discretion to also request that observers be appointed by any campaigns or organizations. The absence of the observers will not prevent the processing of ballots if the county auditor has requested their presence.

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


Resources for Virginia:

  • Retweetable Tweet with links for Washington here.
  • Shareable FB post & downloadable graphic 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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