Election Laws


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Section 17-8-7

Poll watchers.

(a) Except in the case of municipal elections, each political party or organization having candidates nominated, by a writing submitted to the inspector by the chair of the county executive committee or nominees for office or beat committeeman, may appoint a watcher for each voting place. In the event of an election in which there are no candidates, each political party, through a writing submitted to the inspector by the chair of the county executive committee, may appoint a watcher for each voting place.

(b) Watchers shall have the right to:

(1) Observe the conduct of the election.

(2) Monitor the preliminaries of opening the polls.

(3) Remain at the polling place throughout the election until the results of the election have been posted and the voting machines sealed, as provided by law.

(4) Observe the ballots as they are counted.

(5) Observe absentee ballots and affidavits when they are called during the count.

(6) See all oaths administered and signed, the record of assisted voters, the list of qualified voters, the poll lists, and any and all records made in connection with the election.

(c) Each watcher shall be sworn to faithfully observe the rule of law prescribed for the conduct of elections. Watchers may be present to be sworn in with the precinct election officials, or as time allows, but so as not to interfere with the election. Each watcher shall be a resident and qualified elector of the State of Alabama. Election officials, including returning officers, may not serve as poll watchers.

(d) A watcher may not disturb voters, attempt to influence voters, campaign, or display or wear any campaign material or buttons while inside any polling place.

(Code 1907, §353; Code 1923, §443; Code 1940, T. 17, §126; Act 2000-698, p. 1420, §1; Act 2003-400, p. 1150, §1; §17-6-8; amended and renumbered by Act 2006-570, p. 1331, §41.)
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