Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-01-051.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Election related procedures, including voter registration, voting systems, jurisdiction questionnaires, sample ballots, recounts, and candidate filing.
Hearing Location(s): Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division, 520 Union Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, (360) 902-4180, on May 28, 2009, at 11:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: May 29, 2009.
Submit Written Comments to: Joanie Deutsch, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220, e-mail email@example.com, fax (360) 586-5629, by May 28, 2009.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Joanie Deutsch by May 28, 2009, TTY (800) 422-8683 or (360) 902-4182.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: These rules change requirement for jurisdiction questionnaires to be sent out only in the year the local jurisdiction is scheduled to elect officers, clarify the requirement for providing sample ballots at the county auditor's office or on the county auditor's web site, create a definition for overvote and undervote, clarify required information for the county auditor's abstract of votes, clarify a ballot may be rejected where the voter validly transferred out of the county, clarify in a manual recount the two manual counts are compared to each other, clarify when voter registration applicants who fail the identification check are sent letters of notification, clarify county requirements on acceptance testing of voting systems and equipment, change reference from Federal Election Commission to Election Assistance Commission, and repeal language that is obsolete.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 29A.04.611.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 29A.24.070, 29A.24.091, 29A.80.041, 29A.36.151, 29A.60.235, 29A.08.135, 29A.64.061, 29A.08.113, 29A.12.070, and 29A.12.020.
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: Joanie Deutsch, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220, (360) 902-4182; Implementation and Enforcement: Katie Blinn, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220, (360) 902-4168.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not applicable.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Not applicable.
April 10, 2009
Assistant Secretary of State
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-09-035, filed 4/11/07, effective 5/12/07)
WAC 434-215-005 Filing information -- Questionnaire -- Compiling and dissemination. Prior to March 1 ((
of each year)), the county auditor shall
send a questionnaire to the administrative authority of each
local jurisdiction for which the auditor is the candidate
filing officer subject to the provisions of RCW 29A.04.321 and
29A.04.330. The questionnaire must be sent in the year the
local jurisdiction is scheduled to elect officers. The
purpose of the questionnaire shall be to confirm information
which the auditor (( may disseminate to the public regarding
the filing for elective offices)) must use to properly conduct
candidate filings for each office. The questionnaire should
request, (( as)) at a minimum, confirmation of offices to be
filled at the general election that year, the name of the
incumbent, and the annual salary for the position at the time
of the filing period. Responses should be received prior to
April 1 of that year so that the filing information can be
compiled and disseminated to the public at least two weeks
prior to the candidate filing period.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 2006 c 344. 07-09-035, § 434-215-005, filed 4/11/07, effective 5/12/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-049, § 434-215-005, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. 04-15-089, § 434-215-005, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. 02-09-007, recodified as § 434-215-005, filed 4/4/02, effective 4/4/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, § 434-228-005, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-15-052, filed 7/11/08, effective 8/11/08)
WAC 434-230-010 Sample ballots. Sample ballots shall be available at least fifteen days prior to an election. A printed copy must be made available through the office of the county auditor for duplication or a sample ballot must be published on the county auditor's web site. Sample paper ballots shall be printed in substantially the same form as official ballots((
, but shall be a different color than the
official ballot)). Sample ballots shall be printed in a
manner that makes them easily distinguishable from the
official ballot. (( Sample ballots shall be available at least
fifteen days prior to an election. Such sample ballots shall
be made available through the office of the county auditor and
at least one shall be available at all polling places on
At any primary or election when a local voters' pamphlet
is published which contains a full sample ballot, a separate
sample ballot need not be ((
Counties with populations of over five hundred thousand
may produce more than one sample ballot for a primary or
election, each of which lists a portion of the offices and
issues to be voted on at that election. Sample ballots may be
printed by region or area (e.g., legislative district,
municipal, or other district boundary) of the county, provided
that all offices and issues to be voted upon at the election
appear on at least one of the various sample ballots ((
for such county)). Each regional sample ballot shall contain
all offices and issues to be voted upon within that region. A
given office or issue may appear on more than one sample
ballot, provided it is to be voted upon within that region. Sample ballots shall be made available and distributed to each
(( polling place and to other locations within the appropriate
region or area)) voting center.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 08-15-052, § 434-230-010, filed 7/11/08, effective 8/11/08; 06-14-049, § 434-230-010, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. 04-15-089, § 434-230-010, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-230-010, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080 and 29.04.210. 92-10-038, § 434-30-010, filed 5/4/92, effective 6/4/92.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-03-110, filed 1/21/09, effective 2/21/09)
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" on a ballot envelope for a registered voter eligible to vote in the election is:
(a) A signature verified against the signature in the voter registration file; or
(b) A mark witnessed by two people.
(6) "Overvote" is votes cast for more than the permissible number of selections allowed in a race or measure. An overvoted race or measure does not count in the final tally of that race or measure. Example of an overvote would be voting for two candidates in a single race with the instruction, "vote for one."
(7) "Undervote" is no selections made for a race or measure.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 09-03-110, § 434-261-005, filed 1/21/09, effective 2/21/09; 07-24-044, § 434-261-005, filed 11/30/07, effective 12/31/07; 07-09-036, § 434-261-005, filed 4/11/07, effective 5/12/07; 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 07-12-032, filed 5/30/07, effective 6/30/07)
WAC 434-262-030 County auditor's abstract of votes. No later than the fifteenth day following any primary or special election and the twenty-first day following any general election the county canvassing board shall meet and canvass all ballots. Upon completion of this canvass, the board shall direct the county auditor to prepare the auditor's abstract of votes as defined by WAC 434-262-010. The reconciliation of absentee and vote by mail ballots must include documentation that the number of ballots counted plus the number of ballots rejected is equal to the number of ballots received. In addition, county auditors must provide any additional information necessary to explain variances between the number of ballots counted compared to the number of ballots received and credited. ((
The oaths and the reconciliation report must
be substantially similar to the following:)) The certification
reports established in RCW 29A.60.235(1) must be included with
the abstract of votes and must be submitted at the time of the
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 07-12-032, § 434-262-030, filed 5/30/07, effective 6/30/07; 06-14-046, § 434-262-030, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06; 05-17-145, § 434-262-030, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. 04-15-089, § 434-262-030, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-262-030, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080. 80-15-008 (Order 80-3), § 434-62-030, filed 10/3/80.]
(2) Ballots or parts of ballots shall be rejected by the canvassing board in the following instances:
(a) Where a voter has already voted one ballot;
(b) Where two voted ballots are contained within a returned mail ballot envelope containing only one valid signature under the affidavit, unless both ballots are voted identically, in which case one ballot will be counted. If there are two valid signatures under the affidavit, both ballots must be counted;
(c) Where a ballot or parts of a ballot are marked in such a way that it is not possible to determine the voter's intent consistent with WAC 434-261-086;
(d) Where the voter has voted for candidates or issues for whom he or she is not entitled to vote;
(e) Where the voter has voted for more candidates for an office than are permissible;
(f) Where the voter validly transferred out of the county.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 08-15-052, § 434-262-031, filed 7/11/08, effective 8/11/08; 07-20-074, § 434-262-031, filed 10/1/07, effective 11/1/07; 07-02-100, § 434-262-031, filed 1/3/07, effective 2/3/07; 06-14-049, § 434-262-031, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06; 05-17-145, § 434-262-031, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-12-032, filed 5/30/07, effective 6/30/07)
WAC 434-264-110 Manual recount -- Process. The counting board may only count the responses for one race or measure at a time. The following process to count the ballots shall be used during a recount.
(1) Each counting board shall be given the ballots one precinct or batch at a time. The results from the original count shall not be given with the ballots. The precinct or batch number must be made available to any observers.
(2) The ballots shall be sorted into separate stacks for each of the candidates or side of a ballot measure. Additional stacks may be created for overvotes, undervotes, and write-ins.
(3) Each stack of ballots must be manually counted at least twice to confirm the number of votes in each stack. The results of the manual count shall not be shared until both persons have counted the ballots.
(4) Individual tallies for each stack shall be compared.
If the manual counts match, the results shall be reported to
the designated staff person and the results shall be compared
to the results ((
of the original count)) previously certified.
(5) If the two manual counts do not match, the ballots shall be counted by the same counting board one more time. If the manual counts still do not match, the discrepancy must be reported to the designated staff person and the ballots referred to another counting board.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 07-12-032, § 434-264-110, filed 5/30/07, effective 6/30/07.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 09-03-110, filed 1/21/09, effective 2/21/09)
WAC 434-324-045 Verification of applicant's identity. (1) If the applicant is provisionally registered pursuant to WAC 434-324-040(5), the county auditor must verify the applicant's identity before counting the applicant's ballot. The county auditor may use other government resources and public records to confirm the applicant's driver's license or state identification card number or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number. The county auditor may also attempt to contact the applicant by phone, e-mail or other means to obtain identification information.
(2) If, after these attempts, the county auditor is still
unable to verify the applicant's identity, the county auditor
must send the applicant an identity verification notice that
includes a postage prepaid, preaddressed form by which the
applicant may verify or send information. The identity
verification notice must ((
be in substantially the following
(b) A statement explaining that if this information is not provided, the applicant's ballot will not be counted.
(c) A statement explaining that federal law requires the applicant to provide a copy of one of the following forms of identification either before or when they vote:
(i) A Washington driver's license or state ID card;
(ii) The last four digits of his or her Social Security number;
(iii) Valid photo identification;
(iv) A valid enrollment card of a federally recognized tribe in Washington;
(v) A current utility bill, a current bank statement;
(vi) A current government check;
(vii) A current paycheck; or
(viii) A government document, other than a voter registration card, that shows both the registrant's name and current address.
(3) If the applicant responds with updated driver's license, state ID card, or Social Security information, or with a copy of one of the alternative forms of identification, the flag on the voter registration record must be removed, allowing the applicant's ballot to otherwise be counted the first time he or she votes after registering.
(4) If the applicant fails to respond with adequate
documentation to verify his or her identity, the applicant's
voter registration record must remain flagged. If the
applicant votes ((
absentee)) by mail, he or she must be
notified that the ballot will not be counted unless he or she
provides adequate verification of identity.
(5) A provisional registration must remain on the official list of registered voters for at least two general elections for federal office. If, after two general elections for federal office, the voter still has not verified his or her identity, the provisional registration shall be canceled.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 09-03-110, § 434-324-045, filed 1/21/09, effective 2/21/09; 07-24-044, § 434-324-045, filed 11/30/07, effective 12/31/07; 07-02-100, § 434-324-045, filed 1/3/07, effective 2/3/07.]
(2) In order to vote in an upcoming primary, special, or general election, a person who is not registered to vote in Washington must register:
(a) By mail no later than thirty days prior to the primary, special, or general election; or
(b) In person at the county auditor's office no later than fifteen days before the primary, special, or general election. A person who registers under this subsection will be issued an absentee ballot for the upcoming primary, special, or general election.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 06-14-050, § 434-324-075, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06; 05-24-039, § 434-324-075, filed 11/30/05, effective 12/31/05.]
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-18-022, filed 8/29/05, effective 9/29/05)
WAC 434-335-240 Acceptance testing of voting systems and equipment. Whenever a county auditor acquires a new system or an upgrade to an existing system that has been certified by the secretary of state, the county must perform acceptance tests of the equipment before it may be used to count votes at any election. The equipment must operate correctly, pass all tests, and be substantially the same as the equipment certified by the secretary of state. The minimum testing standards are described as follows:
(1) The model number, version number, release number, and any other number, name or description that identifies the product must be the same as the identifying numbers for the product already certified by the secretary of state.
(2) The county must receive all manuals and training necessary for the proper operation of the system.
(3) For ((
a vote tabulating system, the)) new hardware or
hardware upgrades, the county must (( perform a series of
functional and programming tests that test all functions of
the system. The tests must include processing a substantial
number of test ballots of various ballot codes, including
split precincts, multiple candidates, precinct committee
officer races, cumulative reports, precinct reports, canvass
reports, and any other tests the county auditor finds
(4) The county auditor must certify the results of the acceptance tests to the secretary of state, which must include version numbers of the hardware, software, and firmware installed and tested)) test the functionality of the hardware to verify the hardware works as designed. The county must operate the hardware and run it through a series of functional tests that verifies all functions of the hardware.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 05-18-022, § 434-335-240, filed 8/29/05, effective 9/29/05.]
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. 09-03-110, § 434-335-250, filed 1/21/09, effective 2/21/09; 05-18-022, § 434-335-250, filed 8/29/05, effective 9/29/05.]