SECRETARY OF STATE
[Filed September 10, 2020, 11:31 a.m., effective October 11, 2020]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: Permanent adoption of WAC changes related to operation of student voting HUBS on campuses and the associated grant program.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: New WAC 434-250-350 and 434-250-360.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 20-16-113 on July 31, 2020.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: September 10, 2020.
Assistant Secretary of State
WAC 434-250-350Student engagement hubs.
Pursuant to chapter 29A.40
RCW, section 10, chapter 208, Laws of 2020 (ESB 6313), the county auditor and any educational institution within the county that are statutorily required to host a hub must enter a contract to operate a student engagement hub.
(1) For all institutions operating student engagement hubs, the contract must include:
(a) A method for voters to download and print the voter's ballot for the exact precinct and precinct split from the voter's county of registration from an online portal;
(b) Provisions for protecting the privacy and secrecy of any voted ballot;
(c) Provision of instruction for voters on how to return a ballot;
(d) Provision of services to those in line at 8:00 p.m. on election day to obtain a ballot, vote, and deposit their voted ballot;
(e) Provision of a secured ballot drop box at the hub, following current ballot drop box procedures for emptying the contents and closing the box at the conclusion of hub operations;
(f) Ensuring that when a voter is in line at the hub at 8:00 p.m. or earlier on election day, their ballot may be deposited in the drop box after 8:00 p.m., but no other voters can use the drop box after 8:00 p.m.
(g) Ensuring operation of the hub in a nonpartisan manner while allowing no campaign materials or campaigning within a minimum of at least twenty-five feet of the entrances and exits of the hub facility, or within the hub;
(h) Provision of accessible facilities compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(2) For institutions operating student engagement hubs that are statutorily required to include voter registration services, the contract must also include:
(a) An agreed upon method of voter registration services for all eligible citizens at the hub;
(b) Setting the hours of operation as the county auditor's normal working hours and, on Election Day, starting at normal business opening and extended until 8:00 p.m.;
(c) An agreement detailing the days that the hub will be in operation up to the statutory maximum of eight days prior to the election;
(d) Provision to the hub of at least the following services by agreement between the county auditor and the university or college:
(ii) Availability of provisional ballots;
(iii) Provision of notice of the availability of services;
(iv) Provision of appropriate voter information including voter pamphlets; and
(v) Provision of services to those in line at 8:00 p.m. on election day to register to vote, obtain a ballot, vote, and deposit their voted ballot.
(3) The prohibitions listed in chapter 29A.84
RCW for voting centers and ballot drop boxes also apply to student engagement hubs.
(4) Hub staff may provide postage stamps for voters that choose to mail their ballot.
WAC 434-250-360Hub grant program.
(1) Each year that funding has been made available by the legislature, a county that is required to operate a student engagement hub under chapter 29A.40
RCW, section 10, chapter 208, Laws of 2020 (ESB 6313), may request grant funding from the secretary of state for the operation of a student engagement hub during any portion of the in-person voter registration period associated with each general election.
(a) Funding may be provided only after completion of a grant agreement between the county auditor and secretary of state pursuant to section 23, chapter 208, Laws of 2020.
(b) Funding may be provided for the purposes of obtaining equipment necessary for hub operation that will become the property of the county auditor for use in conducting elections.
(c) Funding may be provided for the purposes of obtaining hardware and software necessary for compliance with WAC 434-250-350 (2)(d).
(d) Funding may be provided for operational costs of the hub for staffing, materials, rent, information technology needs related to security and connectivity, and other costs agreed upon between the county auditor and the university or college for operation.
(e) Funding may be provided to county auditors to pay staffing costs at the auditor's office to accommodate operation of the hub during hub hours.
(f) Funding may be provided to county auditors for preparation, planning and training required to coordinate hub operation.
(g) Funding will be prorated based on the number of students enrolled on campus at the university or college, and the number of days of operation of each hub.
(h) Funding may be provided to the county auditor for the associated student organization of the university or college up to a maximum of three thousand dollars per hub for assistance in operation and promotion of the hub availability on campus.
(i) Funding may be provided on a case by case basis for additional requirements identified by the county auditor in a grant application.
(2) The application for grant funding to operate a hub must:
(a) Provide a detailed description of hub operations, hours, and intended expenditures to the secretary of state for review;
(b) Be accompanied by the signed agreement between the county auditor and the university or college pursuant to WAC 434-250-350;
(c) Be accompanied by any other grant funding requests pursuant to subsection (1) of this section;
(d) The grant application deadline is the third Monday in September.
(3) The Washington state director of elections will review each application and request additional documentation where necessary.
(a) Once the application and plan has been reviewed, the grant may be funded in full or in part at the sole discretion of the director of elections or designee.
(b) Grant amounts will vary based on the number of students enrolled on the university or college campus, the number of days of hub operation, and available funding.
(4) After each general election, any funds granted to a county that were not expended shall be returned to the secretary of state.