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Electioneering, Pollwatchers, and Activity in the Polling Place

Electioneering is prohibited in all polling places and in the area within 100 feet of any polling place.

Electioneering is defined as working in support of, against or in opposition to, or in the interest of a candidate, party, or proposition and includes:

    • Any political discussion
    • Wearing a campaign shirt, button, hat or any other item that is electioneering
    • Displaying or distributing any political literature or brochure
    • Exception: Sample ballots MAY BE taken into the polling place.

Illinois election law requires that only the following authorized individuals be allowed in the polling place:
    • Election judges
    • Qualified pollwatchers
    • Voters while voting
    • Representatives of the election authority
    • State Board of Elections
    • Attorney General's Office
    • State’s Attorney’s Office
    • Local, state and federal law enforcement officials acting in their official capacities.

Candidates, political parties, qualified organization of citizens, organized proponents and opponents of a ballot proposition, and State nonpartisan civic organizations may appoint pollwatchers. The pollwatchers’ role is established by law. Pollwatchers sometimes referred to as challengers, checkers or simply watchers, are election observers who aid in ensuring the free and fair conduct of elections. Pollwatchers may be in the polling place before the polls open, during the actual voting hours, and after the polls close.

Pollwatchers shall be permitted to observe all proceedings and view all reasonable requested records relating to the conduct of the election, provided the secrecy of the ballot is not impinged. Pollwatchers are not allowed to touch any supplies or materials and at no time may pollwatchers be so close to the judges that they interfere with the orderly conduct of the election.

Additional Information: A Guide for Pollwatchers , Election Judge Manual

Electioneering, Pollwatchers, and Activity in the Polling Place