Election Day Poll Watcher Deadline for the Municipal Elections - March 9, 2021
The deadline to submit Election Day poll watcher designations for the March 9 Municipal Elections is:
NOON (12:00 p.m.), Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Please submit your poll watcher form(s) to the Municipal Clerk in the city/town in which you have qualified. Forms for the designation of poll watchers may also be submitted to any Supervisor of Elections office or emailed to WGrimes@VotePinellas.com.
Designation of Poll Watchers - Section 101.131, Florida Statutes
- The chair of the county executive committee of a political party, the chair of a political committee and each candidate desiring poll watchers shall submit written authorization giving early voting and precinct assignment of poll watchers on a Poll Watcher Designation Form DS DE 125 (PDF - Excel / Spanish PDF - Excel).
- The deadline for designating early voting poll watchers is at least 14 days prior to the start of early voting; the deadline for designating election day poll watchers is PRIOR TO NOON THE SECOND TUESDAY preceding the election.
- A poll watcher must be a Pinellas County registered voter.
- No candidate, sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or other law enforcement officer may be designated as a poll watcher. In addition, candidates CANNOT serve as poll workers if they are opposed in an election, F.S. 102.012(2).
- Forms for the designation of poll watchers may be submitted to any Supervisor of Elections office, emailed to WGrimes@VotePinellas.com or faxed to (727) 464-6239.
- If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday when the elections offices are closed, forms must still be received before noon and can be faxed to (727) 464-6239 or emailed to WGrimes@VotePinellas.com.
- FORMS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DEADLINE.
Poll Watcher Information and Guidelines (Early Voting and Polling Places)
- Section 101.131, Florida Statutes
- Poll watchers shall produce identification to the precinct clerk upon entering the polling place (this information will be verified against a list of designated poll watchers compiled prior to election day).
- The Supervisor of Elections shall provide to each designated poll watcher a poll watcher identification badge that identifies the poll watcher by name.
- Poll watchers must wear the ID badge while in the polling room or early voting area.
- Each political party, candidate, and political committee is permitted to have ONE poll watcher at a time in each polling room or early voting area.
- Poll watchers shall not obstruct the orderly conduct of the election.
- Poll watchers may not talk to voters while in the polling place or within 150 ft. of the polling place.
- Poll watchers may not interfere in conversations between poll workers and voters.
- Poll watchers shall direct any questions/concerns to the precinct clerk.
- Poll watchers shall direct any voter challenges to the precinct clerk.
- Poll watchers are permitted within the polling room to observe the conduct of voters and poll workers; however, the poll worker staff may designate a location for the poll watchers that will not interfere with voter processing. This designation may be based on site constraints and other space limitations.
- Poll watchers may not review the precinct registers while there are voters in line.
- Poll workers are NOT required to call out a voter’s name.
- Poll watchers may not stand so close that the voter feels his/her ballot secrecy is compromised.
- Poll watchers are required to furnish their own materials and necessities.
- Candidates cannot be poll watchers, nor can they enter any polling location except to vote.
- Poll watchers may not touch any voting equipment or materials, e.g., ballot scanner.
- Poll watchers may use a mobile electronic device provided the device:
1.Is set so as to produce no noise or a low volume vibration.
2.Is not used to take photographs or record conversations inside the polling room or Early Voting area.
3.Is not used by the poll watcher to hold an audible telephone conversation inside the polling room or Early Voting area.
4.Is not used in any manner to create a specific disruption or disturbance within the polling room or Early Voting area. (See Division of Elections Opinion 12-13.)
- Poll watchers may not wear political advertisements or campaign paraphernalia in the polling place. This includes but is not limited to the following: clothing, campaign buttons, hats, wristbands, badges, and other similar items.(Voters are entitled to wear political advertisements or campaign paraphernalia).
- Poll watchers may contact the Poll Worker Department in the Supervisor of Elections office at (727) 464-6110 if they have any questions regarding Florida election laws and/or procedures.