Pollwatcher Application Information

POLL WATCHING AT THE COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
(NOVEMBER 8, 2022 GENERAL ELECTION)

Any person or candidate wishing to be a poll watcher at the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) for early voting and/or Election Day for the November 8, 2022 General Election must obtain security clearance and pre-approval from the CCDOC as a condition to gain access into the jail as a poll watcher.

CCDOC poll watcher security credentials are separate and apart from the requirements for obtaining poll watching credentials from the Cook County Clerk’s Office or the Chicago Board of Elections. No poll watcher will be permitted entry into to the CCDOC unless they have:

  1. CCDOC pre-approved security credentials; AND
  2. Poll watching credentials from the Cook County Clerk’s Office or Chicago Board of Elections.

If a poll watcher does not have both credentials as listed above, access to polling places within the CCDOC will be denied. There will be no same-day security credentialing by the CCDOC. All credentials for jail access must be pre-approved. These requirements are imposed to ensure continued safety and security for staff, individuals in custody, and non-employees on site.

During this time, any person with CCDOC pre-approved security credentials and poll watching credentials from the Cook County Clerk’s Office or Chicago Board of Elections will be screened by staff for symptoms of COVID-19, prior to being permitted entry to the CCDOC. Any individual who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days, who experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days, who has been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 in the last 10 days, who is unvaccinated and has returned from an area listed as high risk by the City of Chicago’s Travel Advisory in the last 5 days, or who is not up to date with COVID-19 vaccination and has traveled internationally in the last 5 days will not be allowed to enter the CCDOC that day.

The CCDOC will provide poll watchers with paper face masks that must be worn at all times while at the CCDOC. Social distancing must also be maintained at all times while at the CCDOC. The health and safety of CCDOC staff, individuals in custody, non-employees and the public continue to be the primary concern of the Sheriff’s Office and guidelines will be updated in accordance with recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

CCDOC APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Polling places for individual in custody voting will be set up inside the CCDOC. Poll watchers must pass a criminal background check to be allowed into the CCDOC to enter a polling place.

APPLICATION FOR CCDOC POLL WATCHER SECURITY CREDENTIALS FOR THE NOVEMBER 8, 2022 GENERAL ELECTION
Applications must be completed by persons 18 years of age or older and submitted by 12 P.M. on Friday, October 21, 2022. Once the application deadline has been met, the CCDOC will no longer accept applications for CCDOC poll watcher security credentials for the November 8, 2022 General Election. The CCDOC will conduct a criminal background check on all applicants and those applicants will be notified of the results via the e-mail address provided within their application. Persons who do not successfully pass the CCDOC credentialing process will be provided the opportunity to appeal the denial.

APPLICATION FOR CCDOC CANDIDATE POLL WATCHER SECURITY CREDENTIALS FOR THE NOVEMBER 8, 2022 GENERAL ELECTION
Applications must be completed by persons 18 years of age or older and submitted by 12 P.M. on Friday, October 21, 2022. Once the application deadline has been met, the CCDOC will no longer accept applications for CCDOC candidate poll watcher security credentials for the November 8, 2022 General Election. The CCDOC will conduct a criminal background check on all applicants and those applicants will be notified of the results via the e-mail address provided within their application. Persons who do not successfully pass the CCDOC credentialing process will be provided the opportunity to appeal the denial.

SAFETY & SECURITY
Any person provided with CCDOC poll watcher/candidate security credentials agrees to comply with public health guidelines and adhere to the CCDOC Rules of Conduct upon entry to the CCDOC. The CCDOC reserves the right to revoke security credentials for any reason and remove anyone from the CCDOC when security needs or public health concerns warrant their removal. CCDOC poll watchers should have the expectation that they will be in the vicinity of individuals in custody, however, social distancing will be enforced by the CCDOC at all times. Space within each designated CCDOC voting location is limited. Space limitations, coupled with reasonable and legitimate health, safety and security needs, may affect the number of persons admitted into the CCDOC or permitted within each voting location at any given time. Upon entry, all persons shall be subject to COVID-19 and security screening. Contraband is strictly prohibited. Cell phones are not permitted in the CCDOC. Once pre-approved, information about the CCDOC rules and regulations and COVID-19 guidelines will be provided via e-mail to the address provided on one’s CCDOC security credential application.

CCDOC POLL WATCHERS/CANDIDATES IN NEED OF ACCOMMODATION
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing equal access and reasonable accommodations to its poll watchers with disabilities. Depending on the nature of the accommodation request, we may require advance notice. Poll watchers with questions or requests concerning reasonable accommodation should contact the ADA Compliance Officer by calling 773-674-7768 during normal business hours or emailing CCSO.ADA@ccsheriff.org during non-business hours.

CCDOC EARLY VOTING DATES FOR THE NOVEMBER 8, 2022 GENERAL ELECTION

  • SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2022 (9 A.M. TO 5 P.M.)
  • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2022 (9 A.M. TO 5 P.M.)
  • SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2022 (9 A.M. TO 5 P.M.)
  • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2022 (9 A.M. TO 5 P.M.)

ELECTION AUTHORITIES
For more information about poll watching requirements for the Cook County Clerk’s Office, please visit the following link: https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/elections

For more information about poll watching requirements for the Chicago Board of Election, please visit the following link: https://chicagoelections.gov/en/serving-as-a-poll-watcher.html