State Laws on Authorized Poll Watchers & Voter Challenges

September 2016
State Individuals Authorized to Serve as Appointed/Designated Poll Watchers or Challengers and Other Authorized Polling Place Observers Individuals Authorized to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day
Alabama In general elections, a poll watcher must be appointed by the chairman of the party’s county executive committee, or by a nominee, or by a beat committeeman. 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. (Alabama Code § 17-8-7). An election inspector may challenge an individual’s eligibility to vote. (Alabama Code 17-10-2)
Alaska One or more persons may be appointed as a poll watcher for each precinct or counting center for any election. Poll watchers are appointed by: the precinct party committee where an organized precinct committee exists; the district party committee where no organized precinct committee exists; the state party chair where no precinct or district committee exists; candidates not representing a political party; organizations or organized groups that sponsor oppose an initiative, referendum or recall. A watcher must be a United States citizen. (Alaska Stat. § 15-10-170). Every election official shall question, and every watcher and any other person qualified to vote in the precinct may question, a person attempting to vote if the questioner has good reason to suspect that the questioned person is not qualified under AS 15.05. (Alaska Stat. § 15-15-210)
Arizona The county chairman of each party may designate a party agent or representative and alternates for a polling place in the precinct who may act as challengers for the party which appointed him. At each voting place, one challenger for each political party may be present. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-590) Any qualified elector of the county may orally challenge a person offering to vote as not qualified under section 16-121.01 or on the ground that the person has voted before at that election. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 16-591)
Arkansas Poll watchers shall include any: (1) candidate in person, but only during the counting and tabulation of ballots and the processing of absentee ballots; (2) authorized representative of a candidate; (3) authorized representative of a group seeking the passage or defeat of a measure on the ballot; and (4) authorized representative of a political party with a candidate on the ballot. Only one authorized poll watcher per candidate, group, or party at any one given time may be officially A poll watcher may challenge a voter on the grounds that the voter is not eligible to vote in the precinct or that the voter has previously voted at that election. (Ark. Code Ann. § 7-5-312)