2014 Georgia Code
Title 21 - ELECTIONS
Chapter 2 - ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES GENERALLY
Article 11 - PREPARATION FOR AND CONDUCT OF PRIMARIES AND ELECTIONS
Part 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 21-2-408 - Poll watchers; designation; duties; removal for interference with election; reports by poll watchers of infractions or irregularities; ineligibility of candidates to serve as poll watchers

GA Code § 21-2-408 (2014) What's This?

(a)(1) In a primary or run-off primary, each candidate entitled to have his or her name placed on the primary or run-off primary ballot may submit the name of one poll watcher for each precinct in which he or she wishes to have an observer to the chairperson or secretary of the appropriate party executive committee at least 21 days prior to such primary or 14 days prior to such run-off primary. The appropriate party executive committee shall designate at least seven days prior to such primary or run-off primary no more than two poll watchers for each precinct, such poll watchers to be selected by the committee from the list submitted by party candidates. Official poll watchers shall be given a letter signed by the party chairperson and secretary, if designated by a political party, containing the following information: name of official poll watcher, address, precinct in which he or she shall serve, and name and date of primary or run-off primary. At least three days prior to the primary, a copy of the letter shall be delivered to the superintendent of the county or municipality in which the poll watcher is to serve.

(2) In a primary or run-off primary, each candidate entitled to have his or her name placed on the primary or run-off primary ballot may submit the name of one poll watcher for each location at which advance voting is conducted pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-380 in which he or she wishes to have an observer to the chairperson or secretary of the appropriate party executive committee at least 21 days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for a primary or 14 days prior to such period in a run-off primary. The appropriate party executive committee shall designate at least seven days prior to such advance voting period for a primary or run-off primary no more than two poll watchers for each advance voting location, such poll watchers to be selected by the committee from the list submitted by party candidates. Official poll watchers shall be given a letter signed by the party chairperson and secretary, if designated by a political party, containing the following information: name of official poll watcher, address, precinct in which he or she shall serve, and name and date of primary or run-off primary. At least three days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period, a copy of the letter shall be delivered to the superintendent and the chief registrar of the county or municipality in which the poll watcher is to serve. (b)(1) In an election or run-off election, each political party and political body shall each be entitled to designate, at least seven days prior to such election or run-off election, no more than two official poll watchers in each precinct to be selected by the appropriate party or body executive committee. Each independent candidate shall be entitled to designate one poll watcher in each precinct. In addition, candidates running in a nonpartisan election shall be entitled to designate one poll watcher in each precinct. Each poll watcher shall be given a letter signed by the appropriate political party or body chairperson and secretary, if a party or body designates same, or by the independent or nonpartisan candidate, if named by the independent or nonpartisan candidate. Such letter shall contain the following information: name of official poll watcher, address, precinct in which he or she shall serve, and date of election or run-off election. At least three days prior to the election, a copy of the letter shall be delivered to the superintendent of the county or municipality in which the poll watcher is to serve.

(2) In an election or run-off election, each political party and political body, which body is registered pursuant to Code Section 21-2-110 and has nominated a candidate for state-wide office, shall additionally be entitled to designate, at least 14 days prior to such election or run-off election, no more than 25 official state-wide poll watchers to be selected by the appropriate party or body executive committee. Each independent candidate shall also be entitled to designate no more than 25 official state-wide poll watchers. In addition, candidates running in a state-wide nonpartisan election shall be entitled to designate no more than 25 official state-wide poll watchers. All such designations of state-wide poll watchers shall be in writing and made and submitted to the State Election Board. A state-wide poll watcher shall have the same powers and duties as poll watchers and shall be entitled to watch the polls in any precinct in the state but shall otherwise be subject to all limitations and prohibitions placed on poll watchers; provided, however, that no more than two state-wide poll watchers of a political party or body, of an independent candidate, or of a nonpartisan candidate shall be in the same polling place simultaneously. Each state-wide poll watcher shall be given a letter signed by the chairperson of the State Election Board. Such letter shall contain the following information: name of official state-wide poll watcher, address, a statement that such poll watcher is a state-wide poll watcher, and date of election or run-off election. At least three days prior to the election, a copy of the letter shall be delivered to the superintendent of each county in which the poll watcher might serve. (3)(A) In an election or run-off election, each political party and political body shall each be entitled to designate, at least seven days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for such election or run-off election, no more than two official poll watchers for each location at which advance voting is conducted pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-380 to be selected by the appropriate party or body executive committee. Each independent candidate shall be entitled to designate one poll watcher for each location at which advance voting is conducted pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-380. In addition, candidates running in a nonpartisan election shall be entitled to designate one poll watcher for each location at which advance voting is conducted pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 21-2-380. Each poll watcher shall be given a letter signed by the appropriate political party or body chairperson and secretary, if a party or body designates same, or by the independent or nonpartisan candidate, if named by the independent or nonpartisan candidate. Such letter shall contain the following information: name of official poll watcher, address, precinct in which he or she shall serve, and date of election or run-off election. At least three days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for such election, a copy of the letter shall be delivered to the superintendent and the chief registrar of the county or municipality in which the poll watcher is to serve.

(B) In an election or run-off election, each political party and political body, which body is registered pursuant to Code Section 21-2-110 and has nominated a candidate for state-wide office, shall additionally be entitled to designate, at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for such election or run-off election, no more than 25 official state-wide poll watchers for such advance voting period to be selected by the appropriate party or body executive committee. Each independent candidate shall also be entitled to designate no more than 25 official state-wide poll watchers for such advance voting period. In addition, candidates running in a state-wide nonpartisan election shall be entitled to designate no more than 25 official state-wide poll watchers for such advance voting period. All such designations of state-wide poll watchers shall be in writing and made and submitted to the State Election Board. A state-wide poll watcher shall have the same powers and duties as poll watchers and shall be entitled to watch any advance voting location in the state but shall otherwise be subject to all limitations and prohibitions placed on poll watchers; provided, however, that no more than two state-wide poll watchers of a political party or body, of an independent candidate, or of a nonpartisan candidate shall be in an advance voting location simultaneously. Each state-wide poll watcher shall be given a letter signed by the chairperson of the State Election Board. Such letter shall contain the following information: name of official state-wide poll watcher, address, a statement that such poll watcher is a state-wide poll watcher for advance voting, and date of election or run-off election. At least three days prior to the beginning of the advance voting period for such election, a copy of the letter shall be delivered to the superintendent and chief registrar of each county in which the poll watcher might serve.

(c) In counties or municipalities using direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems or optical scanning voting systems, each political party may appoint two poll watchers in each primary or election, each political body may appoint two poll watchers in each election, each nonpartisan candidate may appoint one poll watcher in each nonpartisan election, and each independent candidate may appoint one poll watcher in each election to serve in the locations designated by the superintendent within the tabulating center. Such designated locations shall include the check-in area, the computer room, the duplication area, and such other areas as the superintendent may deem necessary to the assurance of fair and honest procedures in the tabulating center. The poll watchers provided for in this subsection shall be appointed and serve in the same manner as other poll watchers.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a poll watcher may be permitted behind the enclosed space for the purpose of observing the conduct of the election and the counting and recording of votes. Such poll watcher shall in no way interfere with the conduct of the election, and the poll manager may make reasonable regulations to avoid such interference. Without in any way limiting the authority of poll managers, poll watchers are prohibited from talking to voters, checking electors lists, using photographic or other electronic monitoring or recording devices, using cellular telephones, or participating in any form of campaigning while they are behind the enclosed space. If a poll watcher persists in interfering with the conduct of the election or in violating any of the provisions of this Code section after being duly warned by the poll manager or superintendent, he or she may be removed by such official. Any infraction or irregularities observed by poll watchers shall be reported directly to the superintendent, not to the poll manager. The superintendent shall furnish a badge to each poll watcher bearing the words "Official Poll Watcher," the name of the poll watcher, the primary or election in which the poll watcher shall serve, and either the precinct or tabulating center in which the poll watcher shall serve or a statement that such poll watcher is a state-wide poll watcher. The poll watcher shall wear such badge at all times while serving as a poll watcher.

(e) No person shall be appointed or be eligible to serve as a poll watcher in any primary or election in which such person is a candidate.

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