HOUSE BILL 1644
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Representatives McMorris, Romero, Linville and Kenney; by request of Secretary of State
Read first time 01/31/2001. Referred to Committee on State Government.
AN ACT Relating to recount procedures; amending RCW 29.62.090, 29.64.010, 29.64.015, 29.64.020, 29.64.030, 29.64.040, 29.64.051, 29.64.060, and 29.64.080; adding a new section to chapter 29.01 RCW; and adding a new section to chapter 29.64 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 29.01 RCW to read as follows:
"Recount" means the process of retabulating ballots and producing amended election returns based on that retabulation, even if the vote totals have not changed.
Sec. 2. RCW 29.62.090 and 1999 c 298 s 21 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Immediately after
the official results of a state primary or general election in a county are
ascertained, the county auditor or other election officer shall make an
abstract of the number of registered voters in each precinct and of all the
votes cast in the county at such state primary or general election for and
against state measures and for each candidate for federal, state, and
legislative office or for any other office which the secretary of state is
required by law to canvass. The abstract ((
shall)) must be
entered on blanks furnished by the secretary of state or on compatible computer
printouts approved by the secretary of state, and the cumulative report of
the election and a copy of the certificate of the election transmitted to
the secretary of state immediately, through electronic means and mailed with
the abstract of votes no later than the next business day following the
certification by the county canvassing board.
(2) After each general election, the county auditor or other election officer shall provide to the secretary of state a report of the number of absentee ballots cast in each precinct for and against state measures and for each candidate for federal, state, and legislative office or for any other office which the secretary of state is required by law to canvass. The report may be included in the abstract required by this section or may be transmitted to the secretary of state separately, but in no event later than March 31st of the year following the election. Absentee ballot results may be incorporated into votes cast at the polls for each precinct or may be reported separately on a precinct-by-precinct basis.
(3) If absentee ballot
results are not incorporated into votes cast at the polls, the county auditor
or other election official may aggregate results from more than one precinct if
the auditor, pursuant to rules adopted by the secretary of state, finds that
reporting a single precinct's absentee ballot results would jeopardize the
secrecy of a person's ballot. To the extent practicable, precincts for which
absentee results are aggregated ((
shall)) must be contiguous.
Sec. 3. RCW 29.64.010 and 1987 c 54 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
An officer of a political party or any person for whom votes were cast in a primary who was not declared nominated may file a written application for a recount of the votes or a portion of the votes cast at that primary for all persons for whom votes were cast for nomination to that office.
An officer of a political party or any person for whom votes were cast at any election may file a written application for a recount of the votes or a portion of the votes cast at that election for all candidates for election to that office.
Any group of five or more registered voters may file a written application for a recount of the votes or a portion of the votes cast upon any question or issue. They shall designate one of the members of the group as chairman and shall indicate the voting residence of each member of the group.
An application for a
recount of the votes cast for ((
a state or local)) an office or
on a ballot measure (( in a jurisdiction that is entirely within one county
shall be filed with the county auditor of that county. An application for a
recount of the votes cast for a federal office or for any state office or on a
ballot measure in a jurisdiction that is not entirely within a single county
shall)) must be filed with the (( secretary of state)) officer
with whom filings are made for the jurisdiction.
An application for a
in a jurisdiction using a vote tally system shall)) must
specify whether the recount (( shall)) will be done manually or by
the vote tally system. A recount done by the vote tally system (( shall use
separate and distinct programming from that used in the original count, and))
must use programming that recounts and reports only the office or ballot
measure in question. The county shall also provide for a (( separate and
distinct)) test of the logic and accuracy of that program.
An application for a
recount shall be filed within three business days((
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays,)) after the county canvassing board or
secretary of state has declared the official results of the primary or election
for the office or issue for which the recount is requested.
This chapter applies to
the recounting of votes cast by paper ballots((
, to the recheck of votes
recorded on voting machines,)) and to the recounting of votes recorded on
ballots (( cards and)) counted by a vote tally system.
Sec. 4. RCW 29.64.015 and 1993 c 377 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) If the official
canvass of all of the returns for any office at any primary or election reveals
that the difference in the number of votes cast for a candidate apparently
nominated or elected to any office and the number of votes cast for the closest
apparently defeated opponent is ((
not more)) less than two thousand
votes and also less than one-half of one percent of the total number of
votes cast for both candidates, the county canvassing board shall conduct a
recount of all votes cast on that position.
(a) Whenever such a
difference occurs in the number of votes cast for candidates for a position ((
appears on the ballot in more than one county)) the declaration of
candidacy for which was filed with the secretary of state, the secretary of
state shall, within three business days of the day that the returns of the
primary or election are first certified by the canvassing boards of those
counties, direct those boards to recount all votes cast on the position.
(b) If the difference in the number of votes cast for the apparent winner and the closest apparently defeated opponent is less than one hundred fifty votes and also less than one-fourth of one percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the votes shall be recounted manually or as provided in subsection (3) of this section.
(2) A mandatory recount shall be conducted in the manner provided by RCW 29.64.020, 29.64.030, and 29.64.040. No cost of a mandatory recount may be charged to any candidate.
(3) The apparent winner and closest apparently defeated opponent for an office for which a manual recount is required under subsection (1)(b) of this section may select an alternative method of conducting the recount. To select such an alternative, the two candidates shall agree to the alternative in a signed, written statement filed with the election official for the office. The recount shall be conducted using the alternative method if: It is suited to the balloting system that was used for casting the votes for the office; it involves the use of a vote tallying system that is approved for use in this state by the secretary of state; and the vote tallying system is readily available in each county required to conduct the recount. If more than one balloting system was used in casting votes for the office, an alternative to a manual recount may be selected for each system.
Sec. 5. RCW 29.64.020 and 1991 c 81 s 36 are each amended to read as follows:
An application for a recount shall state the office for which a recount is requested and whether the request is for all or only a portion of the votes cast in that jurisdiction of that office. The person filing an application for a manual recount shall, at the same time, deposit with the county canvassing board or secretary of state, in cash or by certified check, a sum equal to twenty-five cents for each ballot cast in the jurisdiction or portion of the jurisdiction for which the recount is requested as security for the payment of any costs of conducting the recount. If the application is for a machine recount, the deposit must be equal to fifteen cents for each ballot. These charges shall be determined by the county canvassing board or boards under RCW 29.64.060.
The county canvassing
board shall determine a time and a place or places at which the recount will be
conducted. This time shall be less than ((
five)) three business
days after the day upon which: The application was filed with the board; the
request for a recount or directive ordering a recount was received by the board
from the secretary of state; or the returns are certified which indicate that a
recount is required under RCW 29.64.015 for an issue or office voted upon only
within the county. Not less than two days before the date of the recount, the
county auditor shall mail a notice of the time and place of the recount to the
applicant or affected parties and, if the recount involves an office, to any
person for whom votes were cast for that office. (( The notice shall be
mailed by certified mail not less than two days before the date of the recount.))
The county auditor shall also notify the affected parties by either
telephone, fax, or e-mail at the time of mailing. Each person entitled to
receive notice of the recount may attend, witness the recount, and be
accompanied by counsel.
Proceedings of the canvassing board are public under chapter 42.30 RCW. Subject to reasonable and equitable guidelines adopted by the canvassing board, all interested persons may attend and witness a recount.
Sec. 6. RCW 29.64.030 and 1991 c 81 s 37 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) At the time and place established for a recount, the canvassing board or its duly authorized representatives, in the presence of all witnesses who may be in attendance, shall open the sealed containers containing the ballots to be recounted, and shall recount the votes for the offices or issues for which the recount has been ordered. Ballots shall be handled only by the members of the canvassing board or their duly authorized representatives.
Witnesses shall be permitted to observe the ballots and the process of tabulating the votes, but they shall not be permitted to handle the ballots. The canvassing board shall not permit the tabulation of votes for any nomination, election, or issue other than the ones for which a recount was applied for or required.
At the time and
place established for a recanvass of the votes cast on voting devices that do
not provide an individual record of the choices of each voter, the canvassing
board or its duly authorized representatives, in the presence of all witnesses
who may be in attendance, shall open the voting devices to be rechecked, and
shall verify the votes cast for the offices and issues for which the recount
was ordered. Witnesses shall be permitted to watch the recheck of the voting
devices. The canvassing board shall not permit the rechecking of votes for any
nomination, election, or issue other than the ones for which a recount was
applied for or required.))
(2) At any time before the ballots from all of the precincts listed in the application for the recount have been recounted, the applicant may file with the board a written request to stop the recount.
If the canvassing
board finds that the results of the votes in the precincts recounted, if
substituted for the results of the votes in those precincts as shown in the
certified abstract of the votes would not change the result for that office or
issue, it shall not recount the ballots of the precincts listed in the
application for recount which have not been recounted before the request to
stop the recount. The canvassing board shall attach a copy of the request to
stop the recount to the partial returns of the recount.))
(3) The recount may be observed by persons representing the candidates affected by the recount or the persons representing both sides of an issue that is being recounted. The observers may not make a record of the names, addresses, or other information on the ballots, poll books, or applications for absentee ballots unless authorized by the superior court. The secretary of state or county auditor may limit the number of observers to not less than two on each side if, in his or her opinion, a greater number would cause undue delay or disruption of the recount process.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. A new section is added to chapter 29.64 RCW to read as follows:
When a partial recount of votes cast for an office or issue changes the result of the election, the canvassing board or the secretary of state, if the office or issue is being recounted at his or her direction, shall order a complete recount of all ballots cast for the office or issue for the jurisdiction in question.
This recount will be conducted in a manner consistent with RCW 29.64.015.
Sec. 8. RCW 29.64.040 and 1990 c 59 s 66 are each amended to read as follows:
Upon completion of the
canvass of a recount, the canvassing board shall prepare and certify an
amended abstract showing the votes cast in each precinct for which the recount
was conducted. Copies of the amended abstracts ((
shall)) must be
transmitted to the same officers who received the abstract on which the recount
If the nomination, election, or issue for which the recount was conducted was submitted only to the voters of a county, the canvassing board shall file the amended abstract with the original results of that election or primary.
If the nomination, election, or issue for which a recount was conducted was submitted to the voters of more than one county, the secretary of state shall canvass the amended abstracts and shall file an amended abstract with the original results of that election. An amended abstract certified under this section supersedes any prior abstract of the results for the same offices or issues at the same primary or election.
Sec. 9. RCW 29.64.051 and 1991 c 90 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
counted)) the original count, canvass, and certification of results,
the votes cast in any single precinct may not be recounted and the results
recertified more than twice.
Sec. 10. RCW 29.64.060 and 1990 c 59 s 68 are each amended to read as follows:
The canvassing board
shall determine the expenses for conducting a recount of votes ((
be fixed by the canvassing board)).
The cost of the recount 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.
Sec. 11. RCW 29.64.080 and 1973 c 82 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
official canvass of returns of any election reveals that the difference in the
number of votes cast for the approval of a statewide measure and the number of
votes cast for the rejection of such measure is ((
not more)) less than
two thousand votes and also less than one-half of one percent of the total
number of votes cast on such measure, the secretary of state shall direct that
a recount of all votes cast on such measure be made on such measure, in the
manner provided by RCW 29.64.030 and 29.64.040, and the cost of such recount (( shall))
will be at state expense.
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