Picture of the Colorado State Seal

Colorado
Secretary of State
Wayne W. Williams

Picture of Secretary of State Wayne W. Williams

×
Picture of the Colorado State Seal.

Colorado
Secretary of State
Wayne W. Williams

×

Election Watchers

Q1. What is an Election Watcher?

A1. An Election Watcher is an eligible voter who has been appointed by an authorized appointing entity to witness and verify the conduct of an election.

Q2. Who can appoint Election Watchers?

A2. Candidates, political parties, and issue committees are eligible to appoint Election Watchers depending on the type of election. See Appointment of Watchers (PDF) to view who may appoint watchers in each type of election.

Q3. Who is eligible to be an Election Watcher?

A3. To be an Election Watcher, you must:

  • Be an eligible voter in Colorado,
  • Be selected by an authorized appointing entity, and
  • Not be a candidate on the ballot.

See Eligibility of Watchers (PDF) to view all eligibility requirements.

Q4. What are the Laws & Rules applicable to Watchers? (Title 1 and Rule 8)

A4. Election Watchers are governed by the Uniform Election Code of 1992 (PDF) and the Secretary of State’s Election Rules. You should be familiar with both the statute and rules prior to being appointed as a watcher.

To observe election activities where confidential and personally identifiable information may be within view, you must complete the watcher training courses.

Q5. What information do I need to become a watcher?

A5. You must present a Certificate of Appointment (PDF) to the County Clerk & Recorder or designated staff in order to watch election activities in that county. You should also become familiar with both the statutes (PDF) and rules governing election watchers prior to being appointed as a watcher.

Q6. How do I receive my Certificate of Appointment & Oath of Watcher?

A6. The entity appointing you as an Election Watcher must provide you with a signed Certificate of Appointment (PDF) for each county where you intend to observe election activities. You must present the Certificate of Appointment to the County Clerk and Recorder or designated staff and take the oath stated on the Certificate.

Q7. Besides the Certificate of Appointment, is there any other documentation I should bring with me?

A7. In order to speed up the process at the clerk’s office or VSPC, you may provide a current voter registration record (via GoVoteColorado.com) with your Certificate of Appointment in order to show you are an eligible voter in Colorado. You may obtain your current voter registration record from our online voter registration system, www.GoVoteColorado.com.

Election watchers appointed by an authorized issue committee may also provide the issue committee’s registration record (via TRACER) in order to show that the issue committee is authorized to appoint.

Contact the Watcher Contact (PDF) in the county where you intend to watch for any county-specific watcher policies and procedures.

Q8. If I complete the watcher training course what election activities can I observe?

A8. Watchers who have taken the Watcher Training Course may observe election activities where confidential or personally identifiable information may be within view including:

  • Setup and breakdown of Voter Service and Polling Centers.
  • Voter check-in and registration activities.
  • Ballot tabulation.
  • The logic and accuracy test and post-election audit.
  • Provisional ballot processing.
  • UOCAVA ballot processing.
  • Canvass.
  • Recount.

Q9. If I have not completed the watcher training course what election activities can I observe?

A9. Watchers who have not taken the Watcher Training Course may observe:

  • Setup and breakdown of Voter Service and Polling Center.
  • Ballot duplication.
  • Ballot tabulation.
  • The logic and accuracy test and post-election audit.
  • Canvass.
  • Recount.