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Explainer: What's happening with poll watchers?

Election 2020 Legal Challenges Poll Watchers
Posted at 9:22 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 22:22:58-05

What is a poll watcher? Poll watchers monitor voting or ballot counting and are tasked this year with monitoring a record number of mail ballots. Partisan poll watchers are designated by a political party or campaign to report concerns.

This year, the campaign of President Donald Trump says Republican poll watchers are being improperly denied access to observe ballot counting. Not so, say election officials in key battleground states.

They say rules are being followed and they are committed to transparency. With reports of aggressive poll watchers, election officials say they're balancing access with the need to minimize disruptions.

Poll watchers have been an element of legal battles that have erupted in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada.