PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
SECRETARY OF STATE
[Filed September 5, 2018, 9:18 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Permanent adoption of amendments to WAC 434-208-060 and 434-250-120 relating to electronic return of ballots for non-UOCAVA voters. Changing the ballot return process for nonservice and nonoverseas voters to require return of ballots using the mail or a ballot drop box. Reducing email and fax ballot return to only service and overseas voters.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 29A.04.611
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The office of the secretary of state has been alerted to evidence of ongoing illegal attempts to gain access to, and interfere with, electronic systems that Washington elections officials use during an election. None of these attempts were successful, but election security experts have recently advised Washington elections officials to take steps to reduce opportunities for bad actors to attempt to interfere with Washington elections through electronic means. These amendments maintain the ability of service and overseas voters to submit ballots by fax or email as required by federal and state statutes, while eliminating email and fax submission of other ballots in order to limit vulnerability and reduce the risk of election tampering. Accurate and fair elections are central to the general welfare of Washington's citizens.
Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Sheryl Moss, P.O. Box 40229, Olympia, WA 98504, phone 360-902-4146, fax 360-664-4169, email firstname.lastname@example.org, web site vote.wa.gov.
September 5, 2018
Assistant Secretary of State