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|October 22, 2020|
Poll ‘watchers’ urged to follow protocol
INLAND EMPIRE – (INT) – Election officials in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are taking steps to advise ‘poll watchers’ who are expected to turn out when voting centers open October 31st for in-person balloting.
Rules for observers in California vary by county, but in general they are designed to allow any member of the public to watch the election process, from the opening and closing of polling places to the counting of ballots.
Observers can ask questions of poll workers who aren’t busy assisting voters, but they can’t talk to voters or challenge them about their eligibility.
They can inspect the publicly posted roster of voters, to see who has voted and who hasn’t, but they can’t sit at the workers’ tables, touch voting materials, or go into booths where ballots are being cast.
They can take notes, but they can’t photograph or videotape the inside of a polling place while it’s open and voters are present.
They cannot “electioneer” — do anything that favors a particular candidate or proposition — within 100 feet of a polling place.
Poll workers usually set up a designated place for observers to watch. This election, because of COVID-19 safety requirements, workers may have to limit how many observers can be inside a location at one time, he said.
Even though every registered voter is receiving a mail ballot this election, people who prefer to do it the traditional way — in a polling place, standing in the semi-privacy of a three-sided cardboard booth — can still do so. But, there will be no papers ballots, only electronic voting machines.
In-person voting continues at the registrar’s office on weekdays through Oct. 30.
Beginning on Oct. 31, the registrar’s office and hundreds of other voting centers throughout the Inland Empire will open for four straight days of in-person voting, culminating on Nov. 3, Election Day.
Story Date: October 13, 2020