Our volunteer Poll Watchers serve a vital role in the voting process by helping to protect election integrity in our Dallas County Voting Centers. Poll Watchers are the last line of protection in the elections process that helps ensure free, fair and legal elections.
Poll Watchers are authorized observers of voting operations in all of the Voting Centers around Dallas County. The role of Poll Watchers is codified in Texas law and their authorities were recently updated in Texas Senate Bill 1 which went into effect this year. Poll Watchers have certain rights and protections but also certain responsibilities and procedures that must be followed.
Poll Watchers simply observe voting operations and report any anatomies or irregulates up the chain to the DCRP Elections Integrity Committee for any action that may be necessary. The overall goal is to make sure elections in Dallas County are conducted according to Texas laws and the election code.
Poll Watchers are NOT the "voting police" and no confrontation or enforcement is involved. Poll Watchers simply observe and report. They create the front-line field reports about what is happening in real-world Voting Centers around Dallas County. The volunteer Elections Officers who run Voting Centers, such as Presiding Judges in Voting Centers have broad authority, but it is not unlimited. Their powers are bounded by their oath of office; they are required to operate their Voting Center according to the United States Constitution and Texas Constitution which also includes its laws and Election Code. The candidates running for office and both political parties also have a legal right to observe their operations and report what is observed.
The operations of Voting Centers are very procedural. Poll Watchers observe these operations and help ensure that the procedures, as executed, are lawful and consistent among all 460+ Voting Centers in the County.
In summary, what do Poll Watchers do? Poll Watcher … well, first and foremost … watch. They then report their observations. That’s it in a nutshell. It is a noble calling.
The resulting Poll Watcher observations and reports are used by the leadership of the DCRP Elections Integrity Committee to resolve any reported issues with the Dallas County Elections Department or, if the issue isn't resolved and the issue is serious, get the legal team involved.
Poll Watchers are always assigned in pairs so there are two sets of eyes to see and report whatever happens. Poll Watchers will always have a buddy with them.
Often the mere presence of Poll Watchers in Voting Centers is enough to curtail certain illegal activities and/or improper actions and other bad practices. That is why we want to have enough Poll Watchers to observe where needed.
This year, the DCRP has more than doubled the size of our Poll Watcher corps and we are still recruiting new members. We want the November 8th General Election to be the most well-observed election ever.
We are currently recruiting Poll Watchers for both Early Voting and Election Day Voting for the November 8th General Election. To become a Poll Watcher, all you have to do is apply via the online application shown at the button below.
Comprehensive training for Poll Watchers is provided by both the Dallas County Republican Party as well as the Texas Secretary of State who, in turn, provides certification for the Poll Watchers' roles in elections.
We will provide training in two parts. The DCRP training is optional but highly recommended because it will show you the big picture and how things work. The DCRP training is a two-hour class that is conducted regularly to best fit your schedule, sessions are held at least weekly. The second part of training is provided by the Texas Secretary of State training and is required to be a Poll Watcher in Texas. The required training is conducted online and takes less than an hour to complete. At the end of the online session, your certificate can be downloaded and saved. You must provide this certificate to the Presiding Judge at any Election Center where you watch.
Training Poll Watchers with their documentation can watch in any Voting Center in Dallas County. Once you become a trained Poll Watcher, you will be given an assignment along with your Poll Watcher buddy either for Early Voting or Election Day Voting in one of the approximately 460+ Voting Centers in Dallas County. The shifts for assignments can be as short as a couple of hours or can continue as long as you are willing to serve. You can watch at only one Voting Center or move to another.
You will be provided supervision and management as well as have direct lines of communication for reporting what you observe.
This is a very worthy cause, and your participation will be very helpful in ensuring that we have clean and fair elections throughout Dallas County. Being a Poll Watcher is a duty that you can be proud of providing.
If you wish to join DCRP Poll Watchers, click the button below and complete the application. If you are already a Poll Watcher, please ignore this request to apply again; you do NOT have to submit another application if you are already a member and in the database.
Apply To Become a DCRP Poll Watcher
About the DCRP Blog: The DCRP Blog is produced and edited in a collaborative effort by Susan Fountain, Executive Director of the Dallas County Republican Party (DCRP) and Bill Anderton, Dallas County Republican Precinct Chair of Precinct 2023. It is published on Fridays and Tuesdays. Some postings are co-authored by the two working together, some are authored individually by each and some are authored by guest authors.