Illinois law provides for pollwatchers to be present in the polling place before, during and after the polls close. Pollwatchers are intended to observe the conduct of the election and their prime concern is the integrity and fairness of the election.


A pollwatcher must be a registered voter in the State of Illinois.

Authorization to become a poll watcher

Pollwatcher's are appointed by and represent:

  • established political parties,
  • candidates,
  • organization within the political subdivision, which has among its purposes the investigation or prosecution of election frauds, or
  • organized proponents or opponents of ballot propositions.

Each pollwatcher must have credentials issued by the Galesburg Board of Elections to enter City of Galesburg polling places.

The Board of Elections issues the credentials to the established political parties, candidates, qualified civic organizations, or organized proponents or opponents of ballot propositions. They in turn issue credentials to persons they wish to ask to be pollwatchers.

The credentials must be presented by the pollwatcher to the election judges immediately upon entering the polling place. The credentials are kept by the judges and the pollwatchers may leave and re-enter that polling place on the same credential. However, a new credential is required for each polling place the pollwatcher wishes to enter.

Specific rights of the Pollwatcher

A pollwatcher may be close enough to observe the entire election process from viewing an empty ballot box first thing in the morning through the closing of the polls, but may not handle any election materials or interfere with the election process.

A pollwatcher may challenge a person's right to vote. The reason for the challenge must be stated. The judges of election determine whether or not to sustain a challenge by majority vote.

What to do if a pollwatcher observes an error or apparent violation

The pollwatcher should politely inform the election judges, if an error or an apparent violation is observed. If the error or violation continues, the pollwatcher should record the observations, immediately contact the Board of Elections at (309)345-3660 and remain at the polling place until proper authorities arrive. Under NO circumstances should a pollwatcher argue with the election judges or interfere with the election process.

Join Our Mailing/Alert List
Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS
City of Galesburg; 55 W. Tompkins Street; Galesburg, IL 61402-1387|Phone: 309-343-4181|Directions|Contact Us|Intranet
©2021 City of Galesburg.|Web site design and development by Americaneagle.com|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions|Site Map