Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 07-01-103.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: A variety is issues are addressed, such as vote by mail, ballots, filing fee petitions, and voter privacy during audits of direct recording electronic devices.
Hearing Location(s): 520 Union Avenue, Olympia, WA, on March 13, 2007, at 1:30 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: April 11, 2007.
Submit Written Comments to: Amber Cervantes, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220, e-mail email@example.com, fax (360) 586-5629, by March 13, 2007.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Amber Cervantes by March 12, 2007, TTY (800) 422-8683.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: These rules:
|•||Clarify who is eligible to sign a candidate's filing fee petition;|
|•||Outline procedures for protecting voters' privacy during audits of direct recording electronic devices;|
|•||Clarify the procedure when using abbreviations on ballots;|
|•||Eliminate the requirement to include a voters' pamphlet with each protected records voter ballot; and|
|•||Make technical changes to rules on other subjects including ballot applications, instructions to voters, return envelopes, definitions, and the preliminary abstract of votes.|
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 29A.04.611.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Office of the secretary of state, elections division, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Amber Cervantes, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington, (360) 902-4165; Implementation and Enforcement: Katie Blinn, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington, (360) 902-4168.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328.
February 6, 2007
Assistant Secretary of State
WAC 434-215-025 Declaration of candidacy -- Filing fee petitions. When a candidate submits a filing fee petition in lieu of his or her filing fee, as authorized by RCW 29A.24.091, voters eligible to vote on the office in the general election are eligible to sign the candidate's filing fee petition.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-24-040, filed 11/30/05, effective 12/31/05)
WAC 434-262-105 Audit of results of votes cast on direct recording electronic device. (1) The audits required by RCW 29A.60.185 must use the same three races or issues, randomly selected by lot, for every direct recording electronic device subject to the audit and utilized in the election. If there are not three countywide races or issues on the ballot, the county must select the maximum number of contests available but no more than three contests from each of the devices randomly selected for the audit.
(2) Only races and issues with more than ten votes cast on all direct recording electronic devices in the county may be selected for the audit. If the county does not have such a contest, it must not conduct the audit of paper records required by RCW 29A.60.185.
(3) Counties that utilized more than one direct recording electronic device in the primary or election must randomly select the devices until the aggregate total of votes cast in each selected contest is greater than ten. The devices must also be aggregated until the number of devices selected meets the minimum required by RCW 29A.60.185.
(4) Written procedures to perform audits of direct recording electronic devices as outlined in RCW 29A.60.185 must be promulgated by the county auditor.
(a) The procedures must provide for a process of randomly selecting by lot the direct recording electronic devices that will be audited.
(b) The procedures for manually tabulating results must be conducted using a process that includes the following elements:
(i) A continuous paper record must be utilized in the audit; the paper record must not be cut into separate individual records; and
(ii) If a paper record indicates a ballot has been
canceled, that ballot must be exempt from the audit((
(3))) (5) The county auditor must compare the paper
records with the electronic records. The county auditor may
take any necessary actions to investigate and resolve
(4))) (6) Prior to certification, and in time to
resolve any discrepancies, the county auditor must alert the
county canvassing board of discrepancies identified during the
(7) Procedures to resolve audit discrepancies must be promulgated by each county canvassing board in accordance with discrepancy guidelines published by the secretary of state.
(8) The aggregate total of paper records counted manually is subject to public disclosure.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-24-040, § 434-262-105, filed 11/30/05, effective 12/31/05.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-14-049, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06)
WAC 434-230-170 Ballot form. Each office on the ballot shall be identified, along with a statement designating how many candidates are to be voted on for such office (e.g., vote for . . . . . , with the words, "one," "two," or a spelled number). The office term shall be included on the ballot if such term is other than a full term (e.g., short/full term, two-year unexpired term, etc.). Each office shall be listed on the ballot in the manner prescribed by law or administrative rule. Following the office designation the names of all candidates for that position shall be listed together with political party designation or abbreviation as certified by the secretary of state as provided in RCW 29A.36.011 or the word "nonpartisan," or "NP" as applicable. When choosing to use abbreviations, the county auditor must provide a legend on each ballot defining all abbreviations. Each office listed on the ballot shall be separated by a bold line. In a year in which a President of the United States is to be elected, the names of all candidates for President and Vice-President for each party shall be grouped together with one vote response position for each party, where the voter may indicate his or her choice.
Candidate names shall be printed in a type style and point size which is easily read. If a candidate's name exceeds the space provided, the election official shall take whatever steps necessary to place the name on the ballot in a manner which is readable. These steps may include using a smaller point size, a different type style, or setting the name in upper/lower case letters, rather than upper case, if appropriate.
Each position, with the candidates running for that office, shall be clearly delineated from the following one by a bold line. Following each listing of candidates shall be a blank space for writing in the name of any candidate.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-049, § 434-230-170, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. 04-15-089, § 434-230-170, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.210 and 29.30.020. 00-11-042, § 434-230-170, filed 5/11/00, effective 6/11/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-230-170, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080 and 29.04.210. 92-10-038, § 434-30-170, filed 5/4/92, effective 6/4/92.]
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
|WAC 434-230-180||Paper ballots and ballot cards -- Numbering.|
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-14-047, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06)
WAC 434-250-030 Applications. (1) As authorized by RCW 29A.40.040, requests for status as an ongoing absentee voter must be made in writing. With the exception of county auditors who conduct primaries and elections entirely by mail, each county auditor must provide applications for requests made in writing. The form must include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) A space for the voter to print his or her name and the address at which he or she is registered to vote;
(b) The address to which the ballot is to be mailed; and
(c) A space for the voter to sign and date the application.
A voter may request status as an ongoing absentee voter by indicating such on a standard voter registration form.
(2) As authorized by RCW 29A.40.020 and 29A.40.030, requests for a single absentee ballot may be made in person, by telephone, electronically, or in writing, and may be made by a family member. With the exception of county auditors who conduct primaries and elections entirely by mail, each county auditor must provide applications for requests made in writing. The form must include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) A space for the voter to print his or her name and the address at which he or she is registered to vote;
(b) The address to which the ballot is to be mailed;
(c) A space for the voter to indicate for which election or elections the application is made; and
(d) A space for the voter to sign and date the application.
(3) As authorized by RCW 29A.40.050, requests for a special absentee ballot must be made in writing and each county auditor must provide the applications. In addition to the requirements for a single absentee ballot, as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the form must include:
(a) A space for an out-of-state, overseas, or service voter not registered to vote in Washington to indicate his or her last residential address in Washington; and
(b) A checkbox requesting that a single absentee ballot
be forwarded as soon as possible((
(c) The declaration required in WAC 434-250-050)).
The county auditor shall honor any application for a special absentee ballot that is in substantial compliance with the provisions of this section. Any application for a special absentee ballot received more than ninety days prior to a primary or general election may be either returned to the applicant with the explanation that the request is premature or held by the auditor until the appropriate time and then processed.
(4) As authorized by RCW 29A.40.080, requests for an absentee ballot may be made by a resident of a health care facility, as defined by RCW 70.37.020(3). Each county shall provide an application form for such a registered voter to apply for a single absentee ballot by messenger on election day. The messenger may pick up the voter's absentee ballot and deliver it to the voter and return it to the county auditor's office.
(5) If an application for an absentee ballot is received
from a military or overseas voter who is not already
registered, and the application does not contain sufficient
address information to enable the auditor to issue the correct
absentee ballot, the auditor shall ((
notify)) contact the
person (( and explain why the application is not accepted. If,
in the judgment of the county auditor, enough time exists to
correct the application, the county auditor must request the
proper information from the voter in order to facilitate)) to
clarify the application. If, in the judgment of the county
auditor, insufficient time exists to correct the application,
the auditor must issue the absentee ballot as if the voter had
listed the county auditor's office as his or her residence.
Upon its return, the ballot must be referred to the county
canvassing board, and the only offices or issues that may be
tabulated are those common to the entire county (( and those
for which it can be conclusively determined the voter is
qualified to vote)).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-047, § 434-250-030, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06; 05-17-145, § 434-250-030, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
(a) How to correct a ballot by crossing out the incorrect vote and voting the correct choice;
(b) Notice that, unless specifically allowed by law, more than one vote for an office or ballot measure will be an overvote and no votes for that office or ballot measure will be counted;
(c) Notice that, if a voter has signed or otherwise identified himself or herself on a ballot, the ballot will not be counted;
(d) How to complete and sign the affidavit on the return envelope;
(d))) (e) How to make a mark, witnessed by two other
people, if unable to sign the affidavit;
(e))) (f) How to place the ballot in the security
envelope and place the security envelope in the return
(f))) (g) How to obtain a replacement ballot if the
original ballot is destroyed, spoiled, or lost;
(g))) (h) Notice that postage is required, if
(h))) (i) Notice that, in order for the ballot to be
counted, it must be either postmarked or deposited at a
designated place no later than election day, and providing the
location, dates, and times for depositing the ballot as an
alternative to mailing the ballot.
County auditors may use existing stock of absentee ballot instructions until January 1, 2008.
(2) Instructions that accompany a special absentee ballot must also include:
(a) A listing of all offices and measures that will appear upon the ballot, together with a listing of all persons who have filed for office or who have indicated their intention to file for office; and
(b) Notice that the voter may request and subsequently vote a regular absentee ballot, and that if the regular absentee ballot is received by the county auditor prior to certification of the election, it will be tabulated and the special absentee ballot will be voided.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-23-094, § 434-250-040, filed 11/15/06, effective 12/16/06; 05-17-145, § 434-250-040, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
(1) A security envelope, which may not identify the voter and must have a hole punched in a manner that will reveal whether a ballot is inside;
(2) A return envelope, which must be addressed to the
county auditor and have a hole punched in a manner that will
reveal whether the security envelope is inside. The return
envelope must display the ((
words "OFFICIAL BALLOT - DO NOT DELAY"
prominently on the front)) official election materials notice
required by the United States Postal Service, the words
"POSTAGE REQUIRED" or "POSTAGE PAID" in the upper right-hand corner,
and the following oath with a place for the voter to sign,
date, and write his or her daytime phone number:
County auditors may use existing stock of absentee
envelopes until January 1, 2006.))
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-17-145, § 434-250-050, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-23-094, filed 11/15/06, effective 12/16/06)
WAC 434-261-005 Definitions. (1) "Manual inspection" is the process of inspecting each voter response position on each voted ballot. Inspection is performed on an absentee ballot as part of the initial processing, and on a poll ballot after breaking the seals and opening the ballot containers from the precincts or, in the case of precinct counting systems, prior to the certification of the election;
(2) "Duplicating ballots" is the process of making a true copy of valid votes from ballots that may not be properly counted by the vote tallying system. Ballots may be duplicated on blank ballots or by making changes on an electronic image of the ballot. The original ballot may not be altered in any way;
(3) "Readable ballot" is any ballot that the certified vote tallying system can accept and read as the voter intended without alteration, and that meets the standards of the county canvassing board subject to the provisions contained in this title;
(4) "Unreadable ballot" is any ballot that cannot be read by the vote tallying system as the voter intended without alteration. Unreadable ballots may include, but not be limited to, ballots with damage, write-in votes, incorrect or incomplete marks, and questions of vote intent. Unreadable ballots may subsequently be counted as provided by these administrative rules;
(5) "Valid signature" for a registered voter eligible to
vote in the election is ((
(a) A signature ((
of a registered voter eligible to vote
in the election as)) verified against the signature in the
voter registration file(( s.)); or
(b) On an absentee ballot envelope, a mark with two
is a valid signature)).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-23-094, § 434-261-005, filed 11/15/06, effective 12/16/06; 06-11-042, § 434-261-005, filed 5/10/06, effective 6/10/06; 05-17-145, § 434-261-005, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.210, 29.36.150. 02-07-029, § 434-261-005, filed 3/12/02, effective 4/12/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080 and 29.04.210. 99-08-089, § 434-261-005, filed 4/6/99, effective 5/7/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, § 434-261-005, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-14-046, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06)
WAC 434-262-020 Preliminary abstract of votes. Following the election and prior to the official canvass, the county auditor shall prepare a preliminary abstract of votes, listing the number of registered voters and votes cast. Provisional ballot results must be combined with precinct results.
(1) The preliminary abstract of votes must list separately for each precinct:
(1))) (a) Votes cast by absentee or mail ballot and
votes cast at the polls;
(2))) (b) Votes cast for and against measures;
(3))) (c) Votes cast for candidates; and
(4))) (d) Overvotes and undervotes.
(2) Pursuant to RCW 29A.60.230, the county auditor may aggregate results or take other necessary steps to maintain the secrecy of ballots.
(3) The county auditor shall inspect the preliminary abstract of votes for errors or anomalies that may affect the results of the election. Correction of any errors or anomalies discovered must be made prior to the official canvass.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-046, § 434-262-020, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06; 05-17-145, § 434-262-020, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. 04-15-089, § 434-262-020, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080. 03-15-054, § 434-262-020, filed 7/11/03, effective 8/11/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.210, 29.36.150. 02-07-028, § 434-262-020, 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 § 434-262-020, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080. 80-15-008 (Order 80-3), § 434-62-020, filed 10/3/80.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-19-063, filed 9/16/98, effective 10/17/98)
WAC 434-840-340 Processing protected records voter ballot. (1) The ongoing absentee ballot for a protected records voter shall be prepared by county authorized personnel in the following manner:
(a) The ballot ((
and corresponding voter's guide, shall
be placed with)), ballot security envelope, and return
envelope with oath must be placed in an envelope addressed to
the substitute address;
(b) The voter's name, and authorization code shall be entered onto the return envelope to ensure that the returned ballot will be segregated and routed to authorized personnel for processing;
(2) The voted absentee ballot for a protected records voter shall be processed by county authorized personnel in the following manner:
(a) The authorized personnel shall compare the signature
on the returned ballot envelope with the signature on the
address confidentiality program ((
ongoing absentee ballot))
voter registration application;
(b) If the signature does not correspond to the signature on file, indication of this discrepancy shall be entered onto the return envelope; and county authorized personnel shall notify the address confidentiality program.
(c) The address confidentiality program shall, upon receipt of a notice pursuant to (b) of this subsection attempt to determine the cause of the discrepancy, and notify the appropriate county authorized personnel of any relevant information, that should be considered by the county canvassing board.
(4))) (3) If the protected records voter
neglects to sign the affidavit on the return envelope, the
county authorized personnel shall notify the protected records
voter by first class mail of that fact. The authorized
personnel may provide the voter with a copy of the return
envelope affidavit and require the voter to sign the copy of
the affidavit and mail it back to the auditor so that it
arrives not later than the day before the certification of the
primary or election. Authorized personnel shall keep a record
of the date on which the notice was mailed to the protected
records voter as well as the date on which the voter signed
the return envelope or the copy of the return envelope
[Statutory Authority: RCW 40.24.090. 98-19-063, § 434-840-340, filed 9/16/98, effective 10/17/98. Statutory Authority: 1991 c 23. 91-20-074, § 434-840-340, filed 9/26/91, effective 10/27/91.]