A Citizen's Guide to Observing Elections

There is a crisis of confidence in American elections; and for good reason. Last minute changes in election processes in response to the COVID pandemic created massive security flaws in the 2020 elections that have stoked public doubt. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, a majority of Americans now think there was cheating in the 2020 elections, and a huge majority are concerned with election integrity.

While some portray concern with election integrity as solely a Republican issue linked to the disputed 2020 election, the polling cited above demonstrates it is also an important concern for majorities of both Democrats and Independents; and one must only look back to 2018 to see prominent Democrats (including the current Vice President) expressing concerns about election integrity.

The truth is that election integrity must matter to all Americans, for without elections that are transparent and credible, and that accurately reflect the will of the people, we lose our republic. We are a self-governing people, and with our rights and liberties come the responsibility to protect and defend our republic for ourselves, our fellow citizens, and our posterity.

If you are unable to work as an election official or poll watcher, you can still help protect election integrity by serving as a citizen observer before the election and/or while voting on election day (or during advance voting, if they have that in your state). The process is easy. Simply look around as you go through the voting process, then record responses to a few simple questions, and press send!

Your visible presence observing the process can help deter cheating, and the data you collect will be added to that provided by other observers, and used to assess the quality of the election and to make recommendations for reform.

Citizien Election Observer ID Badge

If you have the opportunity, you may want to print and wear a conference badge that identifies you as a Citizen Election Observer as you go through the voting process. Wearing ID lets officials and party representatives know they are under increased scrutiny, and may help deter malpractice. If you decide you want to wear ID, or just want a cool souvenir, you can download a template to print your own badge.

Print either the
Election Observer ID Badge - Regular or Election Observer ID Badge - Eagle Version
and place them back-to-back in a vinyl conference badge pouch, or glue them together to hang from a button, lanyard, or string.