61st Legislature
2010 Regular Session

Passed by the House March 8, 2010
  Yeas 94   Nays 2

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Passed by the Senate March 5, 2010
  Yeas 45   Nays 3

President of the Senate

I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is HOUSE BILL 1880 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.

Chief Clerk

Governor of the State of Washington

Secretary of State
State of Washington




Passed Legislature - 2010 Regular Session
State of Washington61st Legislature2010 Regular Session

By Representatives Armstrong, Hunt, Appleton, Alexander, and Nelson

Read first time 02/02/09.   Referred to Committee on State Government & Tribal Affairs.

     AN ACT Relating to ballot envelopes; amending RCW 29A.40.091; and declaring an emergency.


Sec. 1   RCW 29A.40.091 and 2009 c 369 s 39 are each amended to read as follows:
     The county auditor shall send each ((absentee)) voter a ballot, a security envelope in which to seal the ballot after voting, a larger envelope in which to return the security envelope, and instructions on how to mark the ballot and how to return it to the county auditor. The instructions that accompany ((an absentee)) a ballot for a partisan primary must include instructions for voting the applicable ballot style, as provided in chapter 29A.36 RCW. The ((absentee)) voter's name and address must be printed on the larger return envelope, which must also contain a declaration by the ((absentee)) voter reciting his or her qualifications and stating that he or she has not voted in any other jurisdiction at this election, together with a summary of the penalties for any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. The declaration must clearly inform the voter that it is illegal to vote if he or she is not a United States citizen; it is illegal to vote if he or she has been convicted of a felony and has not had his or her voting rights restored; and, except as otherwise provided by law, it is illegal to cast a ballot or sign ((an absentee)) a return envelope on behalf of another voter. The return envelope must provide space for the voter to indicate the date on which the ballot was voted and for the voter to sign the oath. It must also contain a space so that the voter may include a telephone number. A summary of the applicable penalty provisions of this chapter must be printed on the return envelope immediately adjacent to the space for the voter's signature. The signature of the voter on the return envelope must affirm and attest to the statements regarding the qualifications of that voter and to the validity of the ballot. The return envelope ((must also have a)) may provide secrecy ((flap that the voter may seal that will cover)) for the voter's signature and optional telephone number. For overseas ((voters)) and service voters, the signed declaration on the return envelope constitutes the equivalent of a voter registration for the election or primary for which the ballot has been issued. The voter must be instructed to either return the ballot to the county auditor by whom it was issued or attach sufficient first-class postage, if applicable, and mail the ballot to the appropriate county auditor no later than the day of the election or primary for which the ballot was issued.
     If the county auditor chooses to forward ((absentee)) ballots, he or she must include with the ballot a clear explanation of the qualifications necessary to vote in that election and must also advise a voter with questions about his or her eligibility to contact the county auditor. This explanation may be provided on the ballot envelope, on an enclosed insert, or printed directly on the ballot itself. If the information is not included, the envelope must clearly indicate that the ballot is not to be forwarded and that return postage is guaranteed.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.

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