Local parties see flood of volunteers for election watching

Local parties see flood of volunteers for election watching

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At most precincts across Mecklenburg County voters are likely to find a couple of volunteers, both Republicans and Democrats, who are called poll observers or election watchers.

WBTV interviewed party leaders for both Republicans and Democrats to find out about the importance of the position.

“The number one thing is to make sure people are following the proper election law procedures,” NCGOP Press Secretary Tim Wigginton said.

“They literally sit inside the polls and observe the process, without interfering,” Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Chair Jane Whitley said.

County parties can select two volunteers to observe each precinct and this year both Republicans and Democrats say there’s more volunteers than normal.

“We have had a lot of volunteers contact us and I think our efforts this year to protect the vote is unprecedented,” Whitley said.

“I think people are a little more willing to volunteer this cycle because they understand the importance of it but it’s always been a massive undertaking,” Wigginton said.

Part of the interest from volunteers comes as President Donald Trump has called into question the integrity of election results. During the presidential debate with Joe Biden, Trump called on his supporters to go to monitor the polls.

WBTV asked both parties about whether that’s good advice.

“Sign up to be a poll watcher so they can go through the training, so they can go through what they want to do and it’s is helpful for our purpose of making sure we have a safe, transparent election,” Wigginton said.

“There is a place in our society to make sure that these functions are done properly. And that’s the purpose of a poll observer,” Whitley said.

WBTV asked both parties if we could attend a training session for poll observers but both parties declined our request.

If you want to sign up to be a poll observer for the Republican Party visit https://www.protectthevote.com/

If you want to volunteer for the Democrats visit https://action.ncdp.org/page/s/vopro-volunteer-survey

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