Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-18-059.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The rules will implement additional election reforms passed by the 2005 legislature.
Hearing Location(s): Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division, Conference Room, 520 Union Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, on December 6, 2005, at 1:00 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: December 16, 2005.
Submit Written Comments to: Katie Blinn, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail email@example.com, fax (360) 586-5629, by December 6, 2005.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact TTY (800) 422-8683.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: In addition to previous election reform rule making, these proposed rules will implement chapter 241, Laws of 2005; chapter 243, Laws of 2005; and chapter 246, Laws of 2005. The proposed rules address a number of issues including:
|•||The allowance of withdrawals of candidacy.|
|•||Direct recording electronic devices may not accept provisional ballots.|
|•||Transferring and securing ballots.|
|•||Election administrators' applications to maintain certification.|
|•||Investigation of errors or discrepancies in county auditor abstracts.|
|•||Signature verification standards.|
|•||Staffing drop sites for ballots.|
|•||Ensuring that a voter who votes on a direct recording electronic device cannot cast two ballots.|
|•||County auditor's offices as a polling place.|
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The legislature passed election reform legislation in 2005 which requires additional rule making.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 29A.04.611.
Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 241, Laws of 2005; chapter 243, Laws of 2005; and chapter 246, Laws of 2005.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Office of the Secretary of State, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Katie Blinn, Legislative Building, (306) [(360)] 902-4168.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Changes do not appear to have an impact on small business.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Not applicable.
October 19, 2005
Assistant Secretary of State
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-08-010, filed 3/18/98, effective 3/18/98)
WAC 434-208-080 Electronic facsimile filings followed by original document. The filing officer shall require that, except for requests for absentee ballots, any acceptance of an electronic facsimile filing be followed by the original document not later than seven calendar days after the receipt of the facsimile filing. If a voted ballot is faxed, ((
the ballot and the envelope bearing the original signature of
the voter must be received (( not later than ten days following
a primary or special election or fifteen days following a
general election)) on or before the date on which the election
is certified pursuant to RCW 29A.60.190.
[98-08-010, recodified as § 434-208-080, filed 3/18/98, effective 3/18/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.230. 92-18-087, § 434-08-080, filed 9/2/92, effective 10/3/92.]
WAC 434-215-065 Withdrawal of candidacy. Consistent with RCW 29A.24.131, a candidate may withdraw his or her declaration of candidacy at any time before the close of business on the Thursday following the last day for candidates to file under RCW 29A.24.050 by filing, with the officer with whom the declaration of candidacy was filed, a signed request that his or her name not be printed on the ballot. There shall be no withdrawal period for declarations of candidacy filed during special filing periods. The filing officer has discretion to permit the withdrawal of a filing for any elected office of a city, town, or special district at the request of the candidate at any time before a primary if the primary ballots have not been ordered. If no primary election is held for the office, the filing officer has discretion to permit the withdrawal at any time before the general election ballots are ordered.
WAC 434-250-095 Voting on direct recording electronic voting devices. If a voter who was issued an absentee or mail ballot requests to vote on a direct recording electronic voting device, the county auditor must first confirm that the voter has not already returned a voted ballot. Confirmation that the voter has not already returned a voted ballot may be achieved by accessing the county voter registration system by electronic, telephonic, or other means. If the county auditor is unable to confirm that the voter has not already returned a voted ballot, the voter may not vote on a direct recording electronic voting device.
Consistent with RCW 29A.46.110, in order to prevent multiple voting, the voter must be immediately credited or otherwise flagged as having voted. If a voted absentee or mail ballot is returned after a ballot is cast on the direct recording electronic voting device, the absentee or mail ballot must not be counted.
(1)(a) Staffed sites must be staffed by at least two
people. Deposit site staff may be employees of the county
auditor's office or persons appointed by the auditor. ((
Whenever possible)) If two or more deposit site staff are
persons appointed by the county auditor, the (( persons
appointed)) appointees shall be representatives of (( each))
different major political (( party)) parties whenever possible.
Deposit site staff (( may not be an employee of the
jurisdiction for whom the election is conducted and)) shall
subscribe to an oath regarding the discharge of the duties(( ,
administered by the county auditor)).
(b) Staffed deposit sites must be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election and may be open prior to the election on dates and times established by the county auditor. Staffed deposit sites must have a secure ballot box that is constructed in a manner to allow return envelopes, once deposited, to only be removed by the county auditor or by the deposit site staff. If a ballot envelope is returned after 8:00 p.m. on election day, deposit site staff must note the time and place of deposit on the ballot envelope, and such ballots must be referred to the canvassing board for consideration of whether special circumstances warrant consideration, as documented by the deposit site staff.
(c) A staffed deposit site that only receives ballots is not considered a polling place. A staffed deposit site that both receives and issues ballots is considered a polling place.
(2) Unstaffed sites may be used if the ballot drop box is either:
(a) Constructed and secured according to the same requirements as United States Postal Service postal drop boxes; or
(b) Secured and located indoors.
Ballot boxes must be locked and sealed at all times, with seal logs that document each time the box is opened, by whom, and the number of ballots removed. From eighteen days prior to election day until 8:00 p.m. on election day, two county auditor staff members must empty each ballot drop box with sufficient frequency to prevent damage or unauthorized access to the ballots. Ballots must be placed into sealed transport carriers and returned to the county auditor's office or another designated location. On election day, ballot drop boxes must be emptied at exactly 8:00 p.m. to ensure that all ballots meet the 8:00 p.m. delivery deadline.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-250-100, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
(1) It is returned in the return envelope, or a similar envelope if it contains the same information and signed affidavit and is approved by the auditor;
(2) The affidavit is signed with a valid signature in the place afforded for the signature on the envelope;
(3) The signature has been verified pursuant to WAC 434-379-020, or if the voter is unable to sign his or her name, two other persons have witnessed the voter's mark;
(4) It is postmarked not later than the day of the election or deposited in the auditor's office, a polling location, or a designated deposit site not later than 8:00 p.m. on election day; and
(5) The ballot is received prior to certification of the election.
The signature on the return envelope, or on a copy of the
return envelope, must be compared with the signature ((
appears on)) in the voter's voter registration (( application,
as described)) file using the standards established in WAC 434-379-020. The signature on a return envelope may not be
rejected merely because the name in the signature is a
variation of the name on the voter registration record. The
canvassing board may designate in writing representatives to
perform this function. All personnel assigned to the duty of
signature verification shall subscribe to an oath administered
by the county auditor regarding the discharge of his or her
duties. Personnel shall be instructed in the signature
verification process prior to actually canvassing any
signatures. Local law enforcement officials may instruct
those employees in techniques used to identify forgeries.
The signature verification process shall be open to the public, subject to reasonable procedures adopted and promulgated by the canvassing board to ensure that order is maintained and to safeguard the integrity of the process.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-250-120, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
(2) If the persons providing services at the county auditor's office are not employees of the auditor's office but are persons appointed by the county auditor, the appointees must be representatives of different major political parties and must subscribe to an oath regarding the discharge of duties.
Such services must be provided beginning the date that
ballots are mailed to voters.))
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-250-330, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
(1) Upon mutual agreement, the official political party observers may request that a manual count be conducted of one race or issue in up to three precincts.
(2) The official political party observers may mutually agree on which race or issue and which precincts are to be counted, or may agree that the selection be made at random. The selection must occur before election day to allow the county auditor to assemble the proper ballots.
(3) The count may begin no earlier than 8:00 p.m. on election day and must be completed by 8:00 p.m. on the second day after election day. The official political party observers must receive timely notice of the time and location of the count established by the county auditor. However, the process must proceed as scheduled if the observers are unable to attend.
(4) The ballots that are ready for tabulation at the time the count begins must be included in the manual count of the selected precincts.
(5) The results of the manual count must be compared to the results on the voting system.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-17-145, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05)
WAC 434-253-020 Polling place -- Election supplies. Polling places shall be provided, at a minimum, with the following supplies at every election:
(1) Precinct list of registered voters or a poll book,
which shall include suitable means to record the signature and
address of the voter((
. Voters issued absentee ballots must
either be noted as absentee or not listed in the poll book));
(2) Inspector's poll book;
(3) Required oaths/certificates for inspectors and judges;
(4) Sufficient number of ballots as determined by election officer;
(5) Ballot containers;
(6) United States flag;
(7) Voting instruction signs;
(8) Challenge and provisional ballots and envelopes;
(9) Cancellation cards due to death;
(10) Voting equipment instructions;
(11) Procedure guidelines for inspectors and judges and/or precinct election officer guidebooks;
(12) Keys and/or extra seals;
(13) Pay voucher;
(14) Ballots stub envelope;
(15) Emergency plan of action;
(16) Either sample ballots or voters' pamphlets;
(17) HAVA voter information poster; and
(18) Voter registration forms.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-253-020, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-253-020, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: 1990 c 59. 92-12-083, § 434-53-020, filed 6/2/92, effective 7/3/92.]
(1) Name of voter.
(2) Voter's registered address both present and former if applicable.
(3) Voter's date of birth.
(4) Reason for the provisional ballot.
(5) Polling place and precinct number, if applicable, at which voter voted.
(6) Sufficient space to list disposition of the ballot after review by the county auditor.
(7) The following oath with a place for the voter to sign and date:
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-253-045, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. 05-06-035 and 05-08-065, § 434-253-045, filed 2/25/05, effective 3/28/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.210, 29.36.150. 02-07-029, § 434-253-045, filed 3/12/02, effective 4/12/02.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-253-220, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: 1990 c 59. 92-12-083, § 434-53-220, filed 6/2/92, effective 7/3/92.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-253-240, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-253-240, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: 1990 c 59. 92-12-083, § 434-53-240, filed 6/2/92, effective 7/3/92.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-17-145, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05)
WAC 434-260-310 Application for initial certification and maintenance of certification. The secretary of state shall make available certification application and maintenance forms to the county auditors. ((
The county auditor in each
county shall, not later than January 1 of each year, submit an
application for certification for each employee for whom
certification and maintenance is requested.)) Applications to
maintain certification must be submitted to the secretary of
state by the county auditor by January 1 each year.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-260-310, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.60.020. 99-12-004, § 434-260-310, filed 5/19/99, effective 6/19/99. 98-08-010, recodified as § 434-260-310, filed 3/18/98, effective 3/18/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.60.020. 94-07-018, § 434-60-310, filed 3/8/94, effective 4/8/94.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 97-21-045, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97)
WAC 434-261-030 ((
Transfer of ballots to counting center
or)) Receipt of ballots at intermediate collection station.
(( After all the business at the polling place is completed,
two of the election officials, one representing each major
political party, shall transfer the sealed ballot containers
to the counting center, or to a designated collection station.
At the discretion of the county auditor, a ballot pickup team
composed of a representative of each major political party may
be directed to stop at the polling place and pick up the
sealed containers of voted ballots for return to the counting
center as an alternative. Until the voted ballots are
received at the counting center or intermediate collection
station, they must always be accompanied by a representative
of each of the two major political parties. These
representatives may be either precinct election officers or
the ballot pickup team.))
If an intermediate collection station is used, the
station will be staffed by a representative or
representatives of the county auditor who shall be responsible
for receiving the voted ballot transfer containers from the
precinct election officers or ballot pickup team. The))
collection station staff shall maintain a ballot transfer
container receipt log on which shall be recorded the
(( precinct)) poll site name or number, the date and time of
receipt, the seal number of each container, and any other
information the auditor deems appropriate. When the last
transfer container has been received and logged, or when so
directed by the county auditor, the containers shall be
transferred to the counting center in an enclosed vehicle
accompanied by at least two employees of the county auditor's
office or two representatives of (( each)) different major
political (( party, appointed for that purpose by the auditor,
or as provided in this rule)) parties. The transfer container
log sheets shall accompany the containers.
The appointed officials accompanying the ballot
transfer containers from the collection station to the
counting center shall not be of the same political party.)) Officials used for this purpose(( , if)) who are not employees
of the county auditor's office, political party
representatives, or affiliated with a political party(( ,)) may
meet the requirements of this rule by declaring in writing
nonpolitical party affiliation. These declarations shall be
retained by the auditor along with the transfer container log
sheets for sixty days after the election.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-261-030, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080 and 29.04.210. 92-10-038, § 434-61-030, filed 5/4/92, effective 6/4/92.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-17-145, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05)
WAC 434-262-013 Crediting voters. Voters shall be credited for voting after each special, primary and general election.
(1) A voter may not be credited for voting if the ballot was voted after election day, was received after certification of the election, or will otherwise not be counted.
If an election was conducted entirely by mail,))
The crediting of absentee or mail ballot voters must be
completed prior to the certification of the election. (( If an
election was conducted using polling places,)) The crediting
of poll voters must be completed (( as soon after the election
as possible)) within thirty days of the election, and prior to
the certification of the election when possible.
(3) The reconciliation of voters credited with ballots counted shall be completed within thirty days following certification of a primary or election. The certification must include, but is not limited to, information indicating that the number of ballots counted equals the number of voters credited. If these numbers do not match, the county auditor must take steps to reconcile the numbers and any discrepancies. If the county auditor cannot reconcile the numbers, documentation of steps taken to reconcile and any other applicable information must be included with the official reconciliation.
(4) Changes to the list of registered voters, such as new registrations, transfers, or cancellations, may not be made following a general election until the crediting reconciliation is complete. Correction of errors is allowed.
(5) The county auditor shall make an electronic or paper copy of the list of registered voters immediately following this reconciliation. Using this data, the county auditor shall also produce validation statistics for each minor taxing district in the county. Once the list is copied and the validation statistics are complete, changes to the data base may be made.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-262-013, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
(2) Changes in the results of an election following a recount are not considered errors or discrepancies.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-262-050, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-262-050, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080. 80-15-008 (Order 80-3), § 434-62-050, filed 10/3/80.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-262-060, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080. 80-15-008 (Order 80-3), § 434-62-060, filed 10/3/80.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-262-080, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150. 00-10-010, § 434-262-080, filed 4/21/00, effective 5/22/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-262-080, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080. 80-15-008 (Order 80-3), § 434-62-080, filed 10/3/80.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-12-116, filed 5/31/05, effective 7/1/05)
WAC 434-379-020 Signature verification standard. A signature on a petition sheet ((
will)) must be matched to the
signature on file in the voter registration records. (( A
signature is considered a match if at least three of the
following criteria are met:
(1) The capital letters match;
(2) Letters tail off alike;
(3) Letter spacing is the same;
(4) The space between the signature and the line is the same;
(5) The beginning and ending of the signature and the slant are consistent;
(6) Unique letters in the signature match;
(7) The overall appearances match.
In determining whether a signature matches the signature in the registration file, the age of the voter and the date of the signature on the registration file may also be considered.)) The following characteristics must be utilized to evaluate signatures to determine whether they are by the same writer:
(1) Agreement in style and general appearance, including basic construction, skill, alignment, fluency, and a general uniformity and consistency between signatures;
(2) Agreement in the proportions of individual letters, height to width, and heights of the upper to lower case letters;
(3) Irregular spacing, slants, or sizes of letters that are duplicated in both signatures;
(4) After considering the general traits, agreement of the most distinctive, unusual traits of the signatures.
A single distinctive trait is insufficient to conclude that the signatures are by the same writer. There must be a combination or cluster of shared characteristics. Likewise, there must be a cluster of differences to conclude that the signatures are by different writers.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611 and 43.07.120. 05-12-116, § 434-379-020, filed 5/31/05, effective 7/1/05.]