WSR 02-14-017



[ Filed June 21, 2002, 11:03 a.m. , effective July 15, 2002 ]

Date of Adoption: June 21, 2002.

Purpose: Change the date for the exhaustion of stock for absentee ballot envelopes to allow the use of existing stock through the 2002 general election.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 434-240-190.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 29.04.210.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: The immediate adoption of the amendment to this WAC is necessary so that county auditors can use existing stocks of absentee envelopes for the upcoming elections.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: July 15, 2002.

June 21, 2002

Steve Excell

Assistant Secretary of State


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-07-028, filed 3/12/02, effective 4/12/02)

WAC 434-240-190   Absentee ballot envelopes.   Included with any absentee ballot provided to a voter shall be:

(1) Instructions for correctly voting the absentee ballot;

(2) Instructions how to correct a vote;

(3) A security envelope which shall bear no markings identifying the voter; and

(4) A return envelope which shall bear the return address of the county auditor and shall have a space for the voter to sign his or her name. The return envelope shall also have the following statement:

I . . . . . . . . . do solemnly swear or affirm under penalty of law that I am a legal resident of the state of Washington entitled to vote in this election I have not voted another ballot, and I understand that any person attempting to vote when he or she is not entitled or who falsely signs this affidavit shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Date Ballot Voted Signature of Voter

All absentee ballot envelopes and return envelopes shall conform to existing postal department regulations. The return envelope shall bear the words "OFFICIAL BALLOT - DO NOT DELAY" prominently displayed on the front, and shall also bear the words "POSTAGE REQUIRED" in the upper right-hand corner.

County auditors shall be permitted to use any existing stock of absentee ballot return envelopes and instructions, in the form specified by state law or administrative rule prior to August 1, 2001. Upon exhaustion of that stock or not later than July 1, ((2002)) 2003, county auditors shall comply with the provisions of this regulation when ordering absentee ballot return envelopes.

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 who has 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. Postal service endorsements to allow forwarding of the ballots, to receive from the post office the addresses to which ballots were forwarded, and the return of unforwardable ballots shall be used on any forwardable absentee ballots. 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.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.210, 29.36.150. 02-07-028, 434-240-190, filed 3/12/02, effective 4/12/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. 98-03-033, 434-240-190, filed 1/13/98, effective 2/13/98; 97-21-045, recodified as 434-240-190, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.36.150. 88-03-019 (Order 88-1), 434-40-190, filed 1/12/88.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office