WENY News - Poll Watchers: An Unsung Part of the Voting Process

Poll Watchers: An Unsung Part of the Voting Process

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- With local elections tomorrow, not only are polling places getting ready, but also the "poll watchers". There are several spots where residents can find a place to vote, but some go further than just voting for their favorite candidates.

Poll watchers register to station themselves at the polls for a specific candidate, with the goal of making sure the voting process is proceeding how it should be. The watchers cannot attempt to promote their candidate in any way, shape, or form. They can only hope to promote fairness.

At the Chemung County Board of elections building, Commissioner Cindy Emmer (D) told WENY, "A poll watcher can do a number of things. They can come and visit the polls. They can see how many people have voted. They also will come to the polls just before the polls close to get the results from that election district."

In addition to poll watchers, volunteers are also always needed at polling places. One local woman who is a poll watcher in Steuben County says younger voters need to get involved. So, how can you get involved?

Emmer went on to say, "To be a poll watcher you have to have a poll watching certificate. Those are either issued by the candidate who is running for office or your local party chair, being from either the democratic or republican party. You have to also be a registered voter in the county."

It can be that simple with reaching out! Polls in the Southern Tier open at 6 AM, and will close at 9 PM.

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