WSR 06-18-004

EMERGENCY RULES

SECRETARY OF STATE


(Elections Division)

[ Filed August 23, 2006, 3:38 p.m. , effective August 23, 2006 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

Purpose: These rules are necessary to accommodate vote-by-mail and other procedures for the 2006 primary and general elections.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 434-250-100, 434-253-010, 434-253-045, 434-261-050, and 434-261-102.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 29A.04.611.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: These rules are necessary to accommodate vote-by-mail and other procedures for the 2006 primary and general elections.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 5, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: August 23, 2006.

Steve Excell

Assistant Secretary of State

OTS-9126.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-14-047, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06)

WAC 434-250-100   Depositing of ballots.   Ballots may be deposited in the auditor's office during normal business hours prior to the day of the election, and from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election. Places of deposit may be staffed or unstaffed.

(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. If two or more deposit site staff are persons appointed by the county auditor, the appointees shall be representatives of different major political parties whenever possible. Deposit site staff shall subscribe to an oath regarding the discharge of the duties.

(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.

(3) 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 people who are either employees of or appointed by the county auditor 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. At exactly 8:00 p.m. 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)) or sealed to prevent the deposit of additional ballots.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-047, 434-250-100, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.530. 06-02-028, 434-250-100, filed 12/28/05, effective 1/28/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, 434-250-100, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]

OTS-9127.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-17-145, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05)

WAC 434-253-010   Polling place -- Activities prohibited.   The county auditor shall ensure that all precinct election officers receive instruction regarding activities that are not permitted within the polling place, including electioneering, circulation of campaign material, soliciting petition signatures, or impeding the voting process((, or get-out-the-vote campaigns)). Whenever it is necessary to maintain order within the polling place and the surrounding environs, the inspector may, if circumstances warrant and if the means to do so are available, contact the county auditor, who shall determine the corrective action required. Such corrective action may include contacting a law enforcement agency for ((their)) assistance.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, 434-253-010, 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 434-253-010, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: 1990 c 59. 92-12-083, 434-53-010, filed 6/2/92, effective 7/3/92.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-02-028, filed 12/28/05, effective 1/28/06)

WAC 434-253-045   Provisional ballots--Required information.   A provisional ballot may ((not)) only be voted on a direct recording electronic voting device if the voting system has been certified by the secretary of state for provisional voting and the county auditor has submitted approved procedures to the secretary of state. At a minimum, the following information is required to be printed on the outer provisional ballot envelope:

(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:


I do solemnly swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that:

I am a legal resident of the state of Washington;

I am entitled to vote in this election;

I have not already voted in this election;

It is illegal to vote if I am not a United States citizen;

It is illegal to vote if I have been convicted of a felony and have not had my voting rights restored;

It is illegal to cast a ballot or sign an absentee envelope on behalf of another voter, except as otherwise provided by law; and

Attempting to vote when not entitled, attempting to vote more than once, or falsely signing this oath is a felony punishable by a maximum imprisonment of five years, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.

Signature Date

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.530. 06-02-028, 434-253-045, filed 12/28/05, effective 1/28/06. 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.]

OTS-9128.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-14-050, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06)

WAC 434-261-050   Unsigned oath or mismatched signatures.   (1) If a voter neglects to sign the oath on an absentee or provisional ballot envelope, signs the oath with a mark and fails to have two witnesses attest to the signature, or signs the ballot envelope but the signature on the envelope does not match the signature on the voter registration ((file)) record, the auditor shall notify the voter ((pursuant to RCW 29A.60.165)) by first class mail of the correct procedures for curing the signature. If the ballot is not received within three business days of the final meeting of the canvassing board, or the voter has been notified by first class mail and has not responded by at least three business days before the final meeting of the canvassing board, the auditor must attempt to notify the voter by telephone using information in the voter registration record.

(2) If the voter neglects to sign the oath on an absentee or provisional ballot envelope, or signs the oath with a mark and fails to have two witnesses attest to the signature, the voter must either:

(a) Appear in person and sign the envelope no later than the day before certification of the primary or election; or

(b) Sign a copy of the envelope provided by the auditor, and return it to the auditor no later than the day before certification of the primary or election.

(3) If the signature on the oath of an absentee or provisional ballot envelope does not match the signature on the voter registration record, the voter must either:

(a) Appear in person and sign a new registration form no later than the day before certification of the primary or election. The updated signature provided on the new registration form becomes the signature on the voter registration record for the current election and future elections; or

(b) Sign a copy of the affidavit provided by the auditor, and provide a photocopy of a valid government or tribal identification that includes the voter's current signature. The signature on the affidavit must match the signature on the identification, and both of those signatures must match the signature on the ballot envelope. The voter must return the signed affidavit and identification to the auditor no later than the day before certification of the primary or election. The county auditor may also send the voter a new registration form to update the signature on the voter registration record for future elections; or

(c) Sign a copy of the affidavit provided by the auditor in front of two witnesses who attest to the signature. The signature on the affidavit must match the signature on the ballot envelope. The voter must return the signed affidavit to the auditor no later than the day before certification of the primary or election. The county auditor may also send the voter a new registration form to update the signature on the voter registration record for future elections.

(4) If the signature on an absentee or provisional ballot envelope does not match the signature on the registration record because the name is different, the ballot may be counted as long as the handwriting is clearly the same. The auditor shall send the voter a change-of-name form under RCW 29A.08.440 and direct the voter to complete the form. If the signature on an absentee or provisional ballot envelope does not match the signature on the registration record because the voter used initials or a common nickname, the ballot may be counted as long as the surname and handwriting are clearly the same.

(5) A voter may not cure a missing or mismatched signature for purposes of counting the ballot in a recount.

(6) A record must be kept of all ballots with missing and mismatched signatures. The record must contain the date on which the voter was contacted or the notice was mailed, as well as the date on which the voter signed the envelope, a copy of the envelope, a new registration form, or a change-of-name form. That record is a public record under chapter 42.56 RCW and may be disclosed to interested parties on written request.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-050, 434-261-050, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06; 05-17-145, 434-261-050, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-11-042, filed 5/10/06, effective 6/10/06)

WAC 434-261-102   Resolving ballots ((tabulated)) on digital scan vote tallying systems.   In counties tabulating ballots on a digital scan vote tallying system, two staff designated by the auditor's office must resolve ballots identified as requiring resolution. A log of the resolutions must be printed and signed by the two staff.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-11-042, 434-261-102, filed 5/10/06, effective 6/10/06.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office