HOUSE BILL 1481
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Dolan, Walsh, Hudgins, Gregerson, Senn, Tarleton, Eslick, Doglio, Reeves, Valdez, Pollet, Ramos, and Jinkins; by request of Secretary of State
Read first time 01/23/19.Referred to Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations.
AN ACT Relating to providing prepaid postage for all election ballots, state reimbursement of election costs, and state payment and reimbursement of prepaid postage costs; amending RCW 29A.04.216
, and 29A.64.081
; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2013 c 11 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
The county auditor of each county shall be ex officio the supervisor of all primaries and elections, general or special, and it shall be the county auditor's duty to provide places for holding such primaries and elections; to provide the supplies and materials necessary for the conduct of elections; and to publish and post notices of calling such primaries and elections in the manner provided by law. The auditor shall also apportion to the county,
each city, town, or district, and to the state of Washington ((in the odd-numbered year
)), its share of the expense of such primaries and elections. This section does not apply to general or special elections for any city, town, or district that is not subject to RCW 29A.04.321
, but all such elections must be held and conducted at the time, in the manner, and by the officials (with such notice, requirements for filing for office, and certifications by local officers) as provided and required by the laws governing such elections. State and federal offices are to be considered separate entities for purposes of election cost proration and election costs; both are subject to reimbursement by the state.
and 2013 c 11 s 10 are each amended to read as follows:
city, town, and district is liable for its proportionate share of the costs when such elections are held in conjunction with other elections held under RCW 29A.04.321
. The state is also liable for the proportionate share of election costs for federal elections held under RCW 29A.04.321 and 29A.04.330.
Whenever any county, city, town, ((or)) district, or the state holds any primary or election, general or special, on an isolated date, all costs of such elections must be borne by the county, city, town, or district concerned, or the state as appropriate.
The purpose of this section is to clearly establish that the county is not responsible for any costs involved in the holding of any city, town, ((or)) district, state, or federal election.
In recovering such election expenses, including a reasonable proration of administrative costs, the county auditor shall certify the cost to the county treasurer with a copy to the clerk or auditor of the city, town, or district concerned, or the secretary of state as appropriate. Upon receipt of such certification relating to a city, town, or district, the county treasurer shall make the transfer from any available and appropriate city, town, or district funds to the county current expense fund or to the county election reserve fund if such a fund is established. Each city, town, or district must be promptly notified by the county treasurer whenever such transfer has been completed. However, in those districts wherein a treasurer, other than the county treasurer, has been appointed such transfer procedure does not apply, but the district shall promptly issue its warrant for payment of election costs. State and federal offices are to be considered separate entities for purposes of election cost proration and election costs, for both are subject to reimbursement by the state.
and 2013 c 11 s 11 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Whenever federal officers,
measures are voted upon at a state primary or general election held ((in an odd-numbered year
)) under RCW 29A.04.321
, the state of Washington shall assume a prorated share of the costs of that state primary or general election for the federal and state offices and measures
(2) The state shall pay for the cost of return postage on all mail and absentee ballots for all elections or reimburse counties for the cost of return postage on mail and absentee ballots for all elections if postage is paid by the county.
Whenever a primary or vacancy election is held to fill a vacancy in the position of United States senator or United States representative under chapter 29A.28
RCW, the state of Washington shall assume a prorated share of the costs of that primary or vacancy election.
The county auditor shall apportion the state's share of these expenses when prorating election costs under RCW 29A.04.410
and in accordance with the state budgeting, accounting, and reporting system,
shall file such expense claims with the secretary of state.
(((4)))(5) The secretary of state shall include in his or her biennial budget requests sufficient funds to carry out this section. Reimbursements for election costs shall be from appropriations specifically provided by law for that purpose.
(6) State and federal offices are to be considered separate entities for purposes of election cost proration and election costs; both are subject to reimbursement by the state.
and 2003 c 111 s 148 are each amended to read as follows:
((For any reimbursement of election costs under RCW 29A.04.420,
he secretary of state shall pay ((interest at an annual rate equal to two percentage points in excess of the discount rate on ninety-day commercial paper in effect at the federal reserve bank in San Francisco on the fifteenth day of the month immediately preceding the payment for any period of time in excess of
))reimbursement of election costs under RCW 29A.04.420 within
thirty days after the receipt of a properly executed and documented voucher for such expenses and the entry of an allotment from specifically appropriated funds for this purpose until those funds are exhausted. If funds appropriated for this purpose are not sufficient to pay all claims, the secretary of state shall include a budget request to the legislature during the next legislative session for sufficient funds for reimbursement of all remaining claims and shall pay all properly executed and documented vouchers to the counties within thirty days of allotment of specifically appropriated funds for this purpose
. The secretary of state shall promptly notify any county that submits an incomplete or inaccurate voucher for reimbursement under RCW 29A.04.420
and 2016 c 83 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The county auditor shall send each voter a ballot, a security envelope in which to conceal the ballot after voting, a larger envelope in which to return the security envelope, a declaration that the voter must sign, and instructions on how to obtain information about the election, how to mark the ballot, and how to return the ballot to the county auditor.
(2) The voter must swear under penalty of perjury that he or she meets the qualifications to vote, and has not voted in any other jurisdiction at this election. The declaration must clearly inform the voter that it is illegal to vote if he or she is not a United States citizen; it is illegal to vote if he or she has been convicted of a felony and has not had his or her voting rights restored; and it is illegal to cast a ballot or sign a ballot declaration on behalf of another voter. The ballot materials must provide space for the voter to sign the declaration, indicate the date on which the ballot was voted, and include a telephone number.
(3) For overseas and service voters, the signed declaration constitutes the equivalent of a voter registration. Return envelopes for overseas and service voters must enable the ballot to be returned postage free if mailed through the United States postal service, United States armed forces postal service, or the postal service of a United States foreign embassy under 39 U.S.C. 3406.
(4) The voter must be instructed to either return the ballot to the county auditor no later than 8:00 p.m. the day of the election or primary, or mail the ballot to the county auditor with a postmark no later than the day of the election or primary. Return envelopes for all election ballots must include prepaid postage. Service and overseas voters must be provided with instructions and a privacy sheet for returning the ballot and signed declaration by fax or email. A voted ballot and signed declaration returned by fax or email must be received by 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election or primary.
(5) The county auditor's name may not appear on the security envelope, the return envelope, or on any voting instructions or materials included with the ballot if he or she is a candidate for office during the same year.
and 2004 c 271 s 181 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The canvassing board shall determine the expenses for conducting a recount of votes.
The cost of the recount conducted under RCW 29A.64.011
shall be deducted from the amount deposited by the applicant for the recount at the time of filing the request for the recount, and the balance shall be returned to the applicant. If the costs of the recount exceed the deposit, the applicant shall pay the difference. No charges may be deducted by the canvassing board from the deposit for a recount if the recount changes the result of the nomination or election for which the recount was ordered.
(b) For an office where the candidates filed the declarations of candidacy with the secretary of state, any legislative office, and any congressional office, the county auditor shall file an expense claim for costs of a recount conducted under RCW 29A.64.021 with the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall include a budget request to the legislature during the next legislative session for sufficient funds for reimbursement of all costs of the recount and shall pay all properly executed and documented vouchers to the counties within thirty days of allotment of specifically appropriated funds for this purpose. The secretary of state shall promptly notify any county that submits an incomplete or inaccurate voucher for reimbursement under this section.
(3) State and federal offices are to be considered separate entities for purposes of election cost proration and election costs; both are subject to reimbursement by the state.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2019.
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