Election Watchers

Becoming an Election Watcher

​In all elections a watcher must be an eligible elector. In addition, watchers in a primary, general or congressional vacancy election are appointed by a political party chairperson on behalf of the political party, or by a party candidate. Additionally, in the case of a general election watchers may be appointed by an unaffiliated candidate or issue committee. In a nonpartisan election, watchers are appointed by candidates for office and proponents and opponents of a ballot issue.

Candidates, members of their immediate families by blood, marriage, or civil union, to the second degree may NOT be poll watchers for that candidate (CRS 1-7-108(2)).

Political party attorneys may not be in a polling location unless he/she is a duly appointed watcher or is casting his/her ballot (Colorado Secretary of State Election Rule 8.3).

If you are selected as a watcher by a political party chairperson, party candidate, or an unaffiliated candidate, you must be affiliated with the political party or unaffiliated as documented in your voter registration record.

Who May Appoint Watchers?

Election Type Appointing Authority Statute/Rule
Primary Election A political party chairperson on behalf of the party / party candidate on the ballot C.R.S. 1-7-105
General Election/Congressional Vacancy A political party chairperson on behalf of the party / unaffiliated or write-in candidate / registered issue committee for or against a ballot issue C.R.S. 1-7-106
Coordinated Election A candidate / registered issue committee for or against a ballot issue C.R.S. 1-7-107
Recall Election Interested Parties Election Rule 8.2

How to Appoint Watchers


The Colorado Secretary of State provides information, rules and state statute pertaining to the appointment and function of election watchers.

The State Watcher Training Course is also available on the SOS website.

Watcher Training Course

MUST be completed and certification submitted

Please contact our Director of Elections, Angie Leath, with any questions.

(719) 520-7325 | angieleath@elpasoco.com


2024 Primary Election Watcher Appointment Request Form

Choose “save as” when you download the document (spreadsheet) and save it with your name. Use the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to fill out the necessary information.

Any questions may be directed to Angie Leath, (719) 520-7325 | angieleath@elpasoco.com Please Note: Requests can take 3 business days to process.


Prepare a .jpg or .gif file of an electronic signature for your organization’s appointment authority along with the Watcher Appointment Request Form.

Without the signature, all certificates for watchers must be signed before being issued to watchers.


Submit the form, along with the Watcher Training Certificate(s), and the necessary signature image AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.


All names on the appointment form will be checked for active Colorado registration.

Appointment certificates will then be emailed to you as a PDF file.

Each watcher should keep their signed certificate with them at each authorized location which they visit. If no electronic signature was included in the original submission, the appointing authority must hand sign the certificates before watchers visit locations.


Election Watcher Guidelines

If a watcher is removed for any reason, the County Clerk & Recorder must notify the party, candidate or committee who appointed the watcher. The removed watcher may be replaced by an alternate watcher.


When arriving at the assigned location, watchers MUST present the Certificate of Appointment to the supervisor judge or other authorized election worker.

The watcher will take an “oath of watcher”, and the certificate must be signed by both the supervisor and watcher.

The watcher must affirm that he or she WILL NOT do the following.

  • Interrupt or disrupt the processing, verification and counting of any ballots or any other stage of the election, except as permitted by the Clerk and Recorder under Election Rule 8.13
  • Attempt to review confidential information unless they have taken watcher training
  • Disclose or record any confidential information he or she may observe
  • Write down any ballot numbers or any other identifying information about the electors
  • Touch or handle the official signature cards, ballots, mail ballot envelopes, provisional ballot envelopes, voting or counting machines, or machine components
  • Interfere with the orderly conduct of any election process, including issuance of ballots, receiving of ballots, and voting or counting of ballots
  • Interact with election judges other than a designated watcher contact, except as permitted by the county clerk under Election Rule 8.13
  • Use a mobile phone or other electronic device to make or receive a call in any polling location or other place election activities are conducted
  • Use any electronic device to take or record pictures, video, or audio in any polling location or other place election activities are conducted
  • Attempt to determine how any elector voted
  • Disclose or record any confidential voter information as defined in section 24-72-204(8), C.R.S., that he or she may observed
  • Disclose any results before the polls have closed