Poll workers vs Poll watchers: what is the difference? Why do I care? Why should we care?

Poll Workers are volunteers performing roles such as checking in voters, directing them to the ballot booth and generally trying to make Election Day operations run smoothly.
Poll watchers are typically political party or candidate appointees who serve as the eyes and ears to ensure there are no problems at their assigned polling place.

Poll workers are paid election officials. They are essential to the democratic process and ensure that the rights of each and every eligible voter are protected. There are approximately 1,980 polling places across the State of Alabama.

Poll workers
• Must be registered voters in the State of Alabama.
• Must be registered to vote at the precinct in which they desire to act as a poll worker.
• Must attend a mandatory poll worker training. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
• Cannot be a member of a candidate’s immediate family or the second degree of kinship, and cannot be a member of a candidate’s political committee.
• Applications to become a Poll Workers can be found at https://www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/become-poll-worker

Poll Watchers are appointed by a political party. They report potential issues with voters to local officials while operating under strict guidelines. The parties appointing Poll Watchers might provide a training to ensure that Poll Watchers will be able to fulfill their task.