Tex. Election Code Section 33.051
Acceptance of Watcher


A watcher appointed to serve at a precinct polling place, a meeting place for an early voting ballot board, or a central counting station must deliver the following materials to the presiding judge at the time the watcher reports for service:


a certificate of appointment; and


a certificate of completion from training completed by the watcher under Section 33.008 (Training Program).


A watcher appointed to serve at an early voting polling place must deliver the certificates under Subsection (a) to the early voting clerk or deputy clerk in charge of the polling place when the watcher first reports for service.


The officer presented with a watcher’s certificates shall require the watcher to countersign the certificate of appointment to ensure that the watcher is the same person who signed the certificate of appointment. Except as provided by Subsection (c), a watcher who presents himself or herself at the proper time with the certificates required under Subsection (a) shall be accepted for service unless the person is ineligible to serve or the number of appointees to which the appointing authority is entitled have already been accepted.


A watcher may not be accepted for service if the watcher has possession of a device capable of recording images or sound unless the watcher agrees to disable or deactivate the device. The presiding judge may inquire whether a watcher has possession of any prohibited recording device before accepting the watcher for service.


The certificates of a watcher serving at an early voting polling place shall be retained at the polling place until voting at the polling place is concluded. At each subsequent time that the watcher reports for service, the watcher shall inform the clerk or deputy in charge. The officer may require the watcher to sign the watcher’s name in the officer’s presence, for comparison with the signature on the certificate of appointment, if the officer is uncertain of the watcher’s identity.


If a watcher is not accepted for service, the certificates shall be returned to the watcher with a signed statement of the reason for the rejection.


On accepting a watcher for service, the election officer shall provide the watcher with a form of identification, prescribed by the secretary of state, to be displayed by the watcher during the watcher’s hours of service at the polling place.


An election officer commits an offense if the officer intentionally or knowingly refuses to accept a watcher for service when acceptance of the watcher is required by this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.


Before accepting a watcher, the officer presented with a watcher’s certificate of appointment shall require the watcher to take the following oath, administered by the officer: “I swear (or affirm) that I will not disrupt the voting process or harass voters in the discharge of my duties.”
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 498, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 2.41; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 554, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 35, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
Amended by:
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1164 (H.B. 2817), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 188 (S.B. 160), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2021, 87th Leg., 2nd C.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 1), Sec. 4.06, eff. December 2, 2021.

Source: Section 33.051 — Acceptance of Watcher, https://statutes.­capitol.­texas.­gov/Docs/EL/htm/EL.­33.­htm#33.­051 (accessed Jun. 5, 2024).

Jun. 5, 2024

§ 33.051’s source at texas​.gov