Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



State Government, Elections & Information Technology Committee

HB 2387

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning mandatory election audits of ballot counting equipment.

Sponsors: Representatives Hudgins, Tarleton and Young.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Makes the random check of ballot counting equipment mandatory, rather than optional.

  • Requires that random check procedures include a process for expansion of an audit in cases where a discrepancy is found.

Hearing Date: 1/16/18

Staff: Desiree Omli (786-7105).


Random Check of Ballot Counting equipment.

There are two types of audits conducted for an election. One type of audit is a random check of the ballot counting equipment used to tabulate ballots. The random check may be conducted at the discretion of the county auditor, or upon mutual agreement of the political party observers. Under the random check process, a manual count of ballots is compared to the machine count. The size of the random check may involve up to either three precincts or six batches. The county canvassing board must established procedures for the random checks. The check must be completed no later than 48 hours after election day.

Summary of Bill:

Random Check of Ballot Counting Equipment.

A random check of the ballot counting equipment used to tabulate ballots must be conducted. The random check procedures must include a process for expanding the audit to include additional ballots when a random check results in a discrepancy between the manual count and the machine count. The procedures established must specify when a discrepancy will lead to an expanded audit, and the method to determine how many additional ballots will be selected.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 11, 2018.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.