Voter Protection Poll Observers

Vote stickers

Voter Protection Poll Volunteers are the firewall to ensure that all eligible voters have their votes counted.   There are three ways to be a Voter Protection Volunteer: 

Voter Protection Poll Observers: Election Day

  • Inside Poll Observers are trained and credentialed by the Democratic Party to monitor all activities within the poll on election day. They are empowered to observe voter check-in, eligibility determinations, and voting procedures—and intervene any time a voter’s eligibility is challenged. They work with the Poll Chief to resolve ballot disputes, and report any improprieties immediately to the assigned election attorney.   Inside Poll Observers help ensure that all poll protocols are followed completely. Inside Poll Observers must be registered Virginia voters.
  • Outside Poll Observers are trained and credentialed to serve outside the poll on election day.  They identify, report, and intervene in any activities which may interfere with, prevent or deny eligible voters’ access to the poll, including over-long lines, improper poll behavior, voter harassment, etc.    They liaise with the Inside Poll Observer throughout the day. They assist provisional voters to have their ballots counted by providing acceptable ID’s, or go to their proper poll. Outside Poll Observers do not need to be VA voters/residents.  

 Voter Protection Hotline Volunteers: Now-to-November 3, 2020 Election

Voter Protection Hotline Volunteers serve in Hotline Call Centers responding to voter calls.  The VA Democratic Hotline is active now through the November election.  

  • For the March 3, Presidential Primary Election, Hotline Volunteers are recruited to serve only in the Richmond call center.  
  • Thereafter, volunteers are being recruited and trained to serve in NOVA local call centers to explain registration options, share deadlines, and contact “inactive” Democratic voters.  “Inactive” voters are those who are not registered at their current address or have not voted in several elections. Thousands of Democratic voters are classified as “inactive” and don’t even know it. Hundreds of Hotline Call Center Volunteers are needed to reach them. 
  • Empowering voters can change election results! 

Voter Protection Post-Election Volunteers: Two-to-three days after November election.

  • Rapid response to provisional voters is essential!  Calls from Post-Election Volunteers motivate provisional voters to “cure” their ballot, i.e., make their vote count
  •  Many otherwise qualified voters fail to show proper ID or proof of address at the poll, and may only vote provisionally.  Their votes count, however, if they present their credentials in the days immediately following the election. 
  • Calls from Post-Election Volunteers to provisional voters can change election results!
  • We need hundreds of Post-election volunteers.  Their work can change election results.  

Additional Resources

The VA Democrats have put together a great resource that answers many questions about voting and voter protection: https://vademocrats.org/vote/

The state site also allows you to see whether you are registered, to check your poll location, learn the candidates, etc: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/

The Virginia Voter Hotline is a year-round hotline that any voter can call to ask questions about voting or get assistance if they experience an issue while voting. The Hotline number is 844-4VA-VOTE (844-482-8683). Voters can also text "voteVA" to 24365 to text Hotline volunteers.

  • Now through Friday, Feb. 28th (M - F): 9AM - 6PM
  • Saturday, Feb. 19th: 9AM - 6PM
  • Sunday, March 1st: 9PM - 6PM
  • Monday, March 2nd: 9AM - 6PM
  • Tuesday, March 3rd (Election Day): 5:30AM - ~8PM
  • Wednesday, March 4th: 9AM - 6PM

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