State of Washington
65th Legislature
2017 Regular Session
By Senate State Government (originally sponsored by Senator Pearson)
AN ACT Relating to requiring ballot drop boxes in all communities; and amending RCW 29A.40.160.
Sec. 1.  RCW 29A.40.160 and 2011 c 10 s 43 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Each county auditor shall open a voting center each primary, special election, and general election. The voting center shall be open during business hours during the voting period, which begins eighteen days before, and ends at 8:00 p.m. on the day of, the primary, special election, or general election.
(2) The voting center must provide voter registration materials, ballots, provisional ballots, disability access voting units, sample ballots, instructions on how to properly vote the ballot, a ballot drop box, and voters' pamphlets, if a voters' pamphlet has been published.
(3) The voting center must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Each state agency and entity of local government shall permit the use of any of its accessible facilities as voting centers when requested by a county auditor.
(4) The voting center must provide at least one voting unit certified by the secretary of state that provides access to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, enabling them to vote with privacy and independence.
(5) No person may interfere with a voter attempting to vote in a voting center. Interfering with a voter attempting to vote is a violation of RCW 29A.84.510.
(6) Before opening the voting center, the voting equipment shall be inspected to determine if it has been properly prepared for voting. If the voting equipment is capable of direct tabulation of each voter's choices, the county auditor shall verify that no votes have been registered for any issue or office, and that the device has been sealed with a unique numbered seal at the time of final preparation and logic and accuracy testing. A log must be made of all device numbers and seal numbers.
(7) The county auditor shall require any person desiring to vote at a voting center to either sign a ballot declaration or provide identification.
(a) The signature on the declaration must be compared to the signature on the voter registration record before the ballot may be counted. If the voter registered using a mark, or can no longer sign his or her name, the election officers shall require the voter to be identified by another registered voter.
(b) The identification must be valid photo identification, such as a driver's license, state identification card, student identification card, tribal identification card, or employer identification card. Any individual who desires to vote in person but cannot provide identification shall be issued a provisional ballot, which shall be accepted if the signature on the declaration matches the signature on the voter's registration record.
(8) Provisional ballots must be accompanied by a declaration and security envelope, as required by RCW 29A.40.091, and space for the voter's name, date of birth, current and former registered address, reason for the provisional ballot, and disposition of the provisional ballot. The voter shall vote and return the provisional ballot at the voting center. The voter must be provided information on how to ascertain whether the provisional ballot was counted and, if applicable, the reason why the vote was not counted.
(9) Any voter may take printed or written material into the voting device to assist in casting his or her vote. The voter shall not use this material to electioneer and shall remove it when he or she leaves the voting center.
(10) If any voter states that he or she is unable to cast his or her votes due to a disability, the voter may designate a person of his or her choice, or two election officers, to enter the voting booth and record the votes as he or she directs.
(11) No voter is entitled to vote more than once at a primary, special election, or general election. If a voter incorrectly marks a ballot, he or she may be issued a replacement ballot.
(12) A voter who has already returned a ballot but requests to vote at a voting center shall be issued a provisional ballot. The canvassing board shall not count the provisional ballot if it finds that the voter has also voted a regular ballot in that primary, special election, or general election.
(13) The county auditor must prevent overflow of each ballot drop box to allow a voter to deposit his or her ballot securely. Ballots must be removed from a ballot drop box by at least two people, with a record kept of the date and time ballots were removed, and the names of people removing them. Ballots from drop boxes must be returned to the counting center in secured transport containers. A copy of the record must be placed in the container, and one copy must be transported with the ballots to the counting center, where the seal number must be verified by the county auditor or a designated representative. All ballot drop boxes must be secured at 8:00 p.m. on the day of the primary, special election, or general election.
(14) Any voter who is inside or in line at the voting center at 8:00 p.m. on the day of the primary, special election, or general election must be allowed to vote.
(15) For each primary, special election, and general election, the county auditor may provide election services at locations in addition to the voting center. The county auditor has discretion to establish which services will be provided at the additional locations, and which days and hours the locations will be open, except that the county auditor must establish a minimum of one ballot drop box per fifteen thousand registered voters in the county and a minimum of one ballot drop box in each city, town, and census-designated place in the county with a post office.
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