Observer Guidelines

Sarasota County Canvassing Board

Observer Guidelines

Adopted January 16, 2020



Because it is necessary to maintain order and efficiency during the testing of equipment and tabulation of ballots, as well as during deliberations of the Canvassing Board, the following guidelines have been established for observers of the election process.



    Entrance to the Data Acquisition and Reporting Center (DARC) is dictated by space constraints, as determined by the Canvassing Board. Party computer experts (one per party) have priority. Only one designated computer expert per party will be allowed in the DARC at one time.

    Observers admitted to the DARC are requested to sign in and to identify the candidate or organization they represent.

    Observers are required to obtain an observer badge. Observer badges must be worn and visible at all times while in the DARC.

    While observing the process, observers must remain within specified observer areas.

    Use of cell phones is permitted by observers, except for voice calls or other activity that is deemed to be disruptive to the normal operation of the canvassing board or that could compromise the integrity of the process.

    Observers may not ask questions or address election staff during testing, tabulation of ballots or any other activity.

    Observers may not ask questions or address canvassing board members during board deliberations.

    Copies of documents produced in response to public records requests must be picked up at SOE Administration on the seventh floor of the Terrace Building where proper payment and receipts can be provided.