Things citizens can do to monitor elections

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This page is part of the Election Protection Wiki,
a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to collect reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity.

Things you can do:

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This article provides information on ways that citizens can be involved in election-protection activities on election day.

Before, during and after the election

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Before the election

(Prepare to do a) citizen exit poll

Election Defense Alliance, Election Integrity and The Warren Poll are organizing an Election Verification Exit Poll project as a safeguard for the November 2008 general election -- and we're calling on you to help. Exit polling provides an independent check on "official results" reported by suspect computerized voting systems. Visit the signup page here.

Election-day activities

Report election problems

  • The national Election Protection Hotline is 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) and 1-888-Ve-Y-Vota in Spanish. (Voting information and legal support is also available at this number.)
  • Twitter Vote Report allows you to report conditions at your polling place by phone, text message, or via Twitter. To submit a report of long lines, broken machines, missing registrations, or anything else, use one of these methods:
    • By Text Message: Send a text message starting with #votereport to 66937 (MOZES).
    • By Phone: Call the automated hotline at 567-258-VOTE (8683) with any touch-tone phone.
    • By Twitter: Post a tweet that includes the hashtag #votereport.
  • Video the Vote is a national initiative to protect voting rights by monitoring the electoral process.
  • The UpTake, a video-based journalism website, empowers everyday citizens to get involved in media and politics, both through viewing and creating online content, as well as by becoming citizen journalists.

Board of elections monitoring

Election observers

Video the Count

While most people are out watching the VOTING, not nearly enough people are watching the COUNTING. Your patriotic services are badly needed. This video shows what happens to the vote data on its journey before results are reported.

Poll workers for democracy

Video the vote

After the election

  • Audit the election! Take these steps:
    • Before the election, ask your local election officials to audit the election according to the Principles and Best Practices for Post-Election Audits.
    • Before the election, look at the ElectionAudits software and see if it would help you or your local jurisdiction.
    • Get a sample audit report from local officials, e.g. the results of the Logic and Accuracy Test. Make sure it is auditable (broken down into precincts or batches with results for each race (including under and over votes) which can be tracked to actual voter-verified paper ballots).
    • After the election, get the real auditable report, and make sure it was available before any random selection of what to audit.
    • Monitor the random selection and make sure it is publicly verifiable as being random and unbiased.
    • Observe the hand counts to check the system results.
    • Report on your observations.

NMSE is organizing people to "pledge to join nationwide pro-democracy protests starting on November 5th, either in my community, in key states where fraud occurred, or in Washington, D.C."

Articles and resources

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Videos from the Ohio Election Protection Conference: (Free Press, October 11, 2008.)

External resources




  • Student Voting Rights, a guide to student voting rights in each state, with a map for selecting each state and a color-coded guide to restriction-level of the state's student-voting laws.


External articles