USA Washington

USA Statutes : washington
Title : Elections
Chapter : Canvassing
RCW 29A.60.010Conduct of elections Canvass.All elections, whether special or general, held under RCW *29A.04.320 and 29A.04.330 must be conducted by the county auditor as ex officio county supervisor of elections and, except as provided in RCW 29A.60.240, the returns canvassed by the county canvassing board.[2003 c 111 § 1501; 1965 c 123 § 4; 1965 c 9 § 29.13.040. Prior: 1963 c 200 § 6; 1955 c 55 § 3; 1951 c 257 § 4; 1951 c 101 § 4; 1949 c 161 § 5; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 5153-1. Formerly RCW 29.13.040.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.320 was repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Later enactment, see RCW 29A.04.321. RCW 29A.60.030Tabulation continuous.Except as provided by rule under *RCW 29A.04.610, on the day of the primary or election, the tabulation of ballots at the polling place or at the counting center shall proceed without interruption or adjournment until all of the ballots cast at the polls at that primary or election have been tabulated.[2004 c 266 § 16; 2003 c 111 § 1503. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 58. Formerly RCW 29.54.042.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.610 was amended by 2004 c 267 § 702 and repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Later enactment, see RCW 29A.04.611.Effective date -- 2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575.Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.60.040Rejection of ballots or parts Write-in votes.A ballot is invalid and no votes on that ballot may be counted if it is found folded together with another ballot or it is marked so as to identify the voter.  Those parts of a ballot are invalid and no votes may be counted for those issues or offices where more votes are cast for the office or issue than are permitted by law; write-in votes do not contain all of the information required under *RCW 29A.60.020; or that issue or office is not marked with sufficient definiteness to determine the voter's choice or intention. No write-in vote may be rejected due to a variation in the form of the name if the election board or the canvassing board can determine the issue for or against which or the person and the office for which the voter intended to vote.[2003 c 111 § 1504. Prior: 1999 c 158 § 13; 1999 c 157 § 4; 1990 c 59 § 56; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 88; 1973 1st ex.s. c 121 § 2; 1965 ex.s. c 101 § 11; 1965 c 9 § 29.54.050; prior: (i) Code 1881 § 3091; 1865 p 38 § 2; RRS § 5336. (ii) 1895 c 156 § 10; 1889 p 411 § 29; RRS § 5294. (iii) 1905 c 39 § 1, part; 1889 p 405 § 15, part; RRS § 5272, part. (iv) 1895 c 156 § 11, part; 1886 p 128 § 1, part; Code 1881 § 3079, part; 1865 p 34 § 4, part; RRS § 5323, part. Formerly RCW 29.54.050.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.60.020 was repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Later enactment, see RCW 29A.60.021.Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.050Questions on validity of ballot Rejection Preservation and return.Whenever the precinct election officers or the counting center personnel have a question about the validity of a ballot or the votes for an office or issue that they are unable to resolve, they shall prepare and sign a concise record of the facts in question or dispute. These ballots shall be delivered to the canvassing board for processing. A ballot is not considered rejected until the canvassing board has rejected the ballot individually, or the ballot was included in a batch or on a report of ballots that was rejected in its entirety by the canvassing board. All ballots shall be preserved in the same manner as valid ballots for that primary or election.[2005 c 243 § 13; 2003 c 111 § 1505. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 57; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 89; 1965 c 9 §29.54.060 ; prior: Code 1881 § 3080, part; 1865 p 34 § 5, part; RRS § 5324, part. Formerly RCW 29.54.060.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.060Poll-site ballot counting devices Results.After the close of the polls, counties employing poll-site ballot counting devices may telephonically or electronically transmit the accumulated tally for each device to a central reporting location. Before making a telephonic or electronic transmission the precinct election officer must create a printed record of the results of the election for that poll site. During the canvassing period the results transmitted telephonically or electronically must be considered unofficial until a complete reconciliation of the results has been performed. This reconciliation may be accomplished by a direct loading of the results from the memory pack into the central accumulator, or a comparison of the report produced at the poll site on election night with the results received by the central accumulating device.[2003 c 111 § 1506. Prior: 1999 c 158 § 12. Formerly RCW 29.54.097.]Notes:Memory pack from poll-site counting device: RCW 29A.44.330. RCW 29A.60.070Returns, precinct and cumulative Delivery. (Effective until July 1, 2006.)The county auditor shall produce cumulative and precinct returns for each primary and election and deliver them to the canvassing board for verification and certification. The precinct and cumulative returns of any primary or election are public records under chapter 42.17 RCW.  Cumulative returns for state offices, judicial offices, the United States senate, and congress must be electronically transmitted to the secretary of state immediately.[2005 c 243 § 14; 2003 c 111 § 1507. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 60. Formerly RCW 29.54.105.]Notes:Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2005 c 243 § 14 and by 2005 c 274 § 249, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).Part headings not law -- Effective date--2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902.Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.60.080Sealing of voting devices Exceptions.Except for reopening to make a recanvass, the registering mechanism of each mechanical voting device used in any primary or election shall remain sealed until ten days after the completion of the canvass of that primary or election in that county. Except where provided by a rule adopted under *RCW 29A.04.610, voting devices used in a primary or election shall remain sealed until ten days after the completion of the canvass of that primary or election in that county.[2004 c 266 § 17; 2003 c 111 § 1508. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 24; 1965 c 9 § 29.33.230; prior: 1917 c 7 § 1, part; 1913 c 58 § 15, part; RRS § 5315, part. Formerly RCW 29.54.121, 29.33.230.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.610 was amended by 2004 c 267 § 702 and repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Later enactment, see RCW 29A.04.611.Effective date -- 2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575.Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.60.090Voting systems Maintenance of documents.In counties using voting systems, the county auditor shall maintain the following documents for at least sixty days after the primary or election:  (1) Sample ballot formats together with a record of the format or formats assigned to each precinct;  (2) All programming material related to the control of the vote tallying system for that primary or election; and  (3) All test materials used to verify the accuracy of the tabulating equipment as required by RCW 29A.12.130.[2003 c 111 § 1509. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 61; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 94. Formerly RCW 29.54.170.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.100Votes by stickers, printed labels, rejected.Votes cast by stickers or printed labels are not valid for any purpose and shall be rejected. Votes cast by sticker or label shall not affect the validity of other offices or issues on the voter's ballot.[2003 c 111 § 1510. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 46; 1965 ex.s. c 101 § 16. Formerly RCW 29.51.175.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.60.110Ballot containers, sealing, opening.Immediately after their tabulation, all ballots counted at a ballot counting center must be sealed in containers that identify the primary or election and be retained for at least sixty days or according to federal law, whichever is longer. All ballots tallied by poll-site ballot counting devices must be returned to the elections department in sealed ballot containers on election day. Counties composed entirely of islands or portions of counties composed of islands shall collect the ballots within twenty-four hours of the close of the polls.  Ballots tabulated in poll-site ballot counting devices must be sealed by two of the election precinct officers at the polling place, and a log of the seal and the names of the people sealing the container must be completed. One copy of this log must be retained by the inspector, one copy must be placed in the ballot transfer case, and one copy must be transported with the ballots to the elections department, where the seal number must be verified by the county auditor or a designated representative. Ballots may be transported by one election employee if the container is sealed at the poll and then verified when returned to the elections department. Auditors using poll-site ballot counting devices may conduct early pickup of counted ballots on election day.  In the presence of major party observers who are available, ballots may be removed from the sealed containers at the elections department and consolidated into one sealed container for storage purposes. The containers may only be opened by the canvassing board as part of the canvass, or to conduct recounts, or under RCW 29A.60.170(3), or by order of the superior court in a contest or election dispute. If the canvassing board opens a ballot container, it shall make a full record of the additional tabulation or examination made of the ballots. This record must be added to any other record of the canvassing process in that county.[2003 c 111 § 1511; 1999 c 158 § 14; 1990 c 59 § 59. Formerly RCW 29.54.075.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.60.120Counting ballots Official returns.(1) The ballots picked up from the precincts during the polling hours may be counted only at the counting center before the polls have closed. Election returns from the count of these ballots must be held in secrecy until the polls have been closed.  (2) Upon breaking the seals and opening the ballot containers from the precincts, all voted ballots must be manually inspected for damage, write-in votes, and incorrect or incomplete marks. If it is found that any ballot is damaged so that it cannot properly be counted by the vote tallying system, a true duplicate copy must be made of the damaged ballot in the presence of witnesses and substituted for the damaged ballot. All damaged ballots must be kept by the county auditor until sixty days after the primary or election or according to federal law, whichever is longer.  (3) The returns produced by the vote tallying system, to which have been added the counts of questioned ballots, write-in votes, and absentee votes, constitute the official returns of the primary or election in that county.[2003 c 111 § 1512; 1999 c 158 § 15; 1990 c 59 § 33; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 74. Formerly RCW 29.54.085, 29.34.167.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.130Certificate not withheld for informality in returns.No certificate shall be withheld on account of any defect or informality in the returns of any election, if it can with reasonable certainty be ascertained from such return what office is intended, and who is entitled to such certificate, nor shall any commission be withheld by the governor on account of any defect or informality of any return made to the office of the secretary of state.[2003 c 111 § 1513. Prior: 1965 c 9 §29.27.120 ; prior: Code 1881 § 3102; 1865 p 41 § 13; RRS § 5347. Formerly RCW 29.27.120.] RCW 29A.60.150Procedure when member a candidate.The members of the county canvassing board may not include individuals who are candidates for an office to be voted upon at the primary or election. If no individual is available to serve on the canvassing board who is not a candidate at the primary or election the individual who is a candidate must not make decisions regarding the determination of a voter's intent with respect to a vote cast for that specific office; the decision must be made by the other two members of the board. If the two disagree, the vote must not be counted unless the number of those votes could affect the result of the primary or election, in which case the secretary of state or a designee shall make the decision on those votes. This section does not restrict participation in decisions as to the acceptance or rejection of entire ballots, unless the office in question is the only one for which the voter cast a vote.[2003 c 111 § 1515; 1995 c 139 § 3; 1965 c 9 § 29.62.030. Prior: 1957 c 195 § 16; prior: (i) Code 1881 § 3098; 1865 p 39 § 8; RRS § 5345. (ii) 1919 c 163 § 21, part; Code 1881 § 3095, part; 1868 p 20 § 1, part; 1865 p 39 § 6, part; RRS § 5340, part. Formerly RCW 29.62.030.] RCW 29A.60.160Absentee ballots. (Expires July 1, 2013.)Except for an election conducted under the instant runoff voting method for the pilot project authorized by RCW 29A.53.020, [and] except Sundays and legal holidays, the county auditor, as delegated by the county canvassing board, shall process absentee ballots and canvass the votes cast at that primary or election on a daily basis in counties with a population of seventy-five thousand or more, or at least every third day for counties with a population of less than seventy-five thousand, if the county auditor is in possession of more than twenty-five ballots that have yet to be canvassed. The county auditor, as delegated by the county canvassing board, may use his or her discretion in determining when to process the remaining absentee ballots and canvass the votes during the final four days before the certification of election results in order to protect the secrecy of any ballot. In counties where this process has not been delegated to the county auditor, the county auditor shall convene the county canvassing board to process absentee ballots and canvass the votes cast at the primary or election as set forth in this section.  Except for an election conducted under the instant runoff voting method for the pilot project authorized by RCW 29A.53.020, each absentee ballot previously not canvassed that was received by the county auditor two days or more before processing absentee ballots and canvassing the votes as delegated by or processed by the county canvassing board, that either was received by the county auditor before the closing of the polls on the day of the primary or election for which it was issued, or that bears a postmark on or before the primary or election for which it was issued, must be processed at that time. The tabulation of votes that results from that day's canvass must be made available to the general public immediately upon completion of the canvass.[2005 c 243 § 15; 2005 c 153 § 11; 2003 c 111 § 1516; 1999 c 259 § 4; 1995 c 139 § 2; 1987 c 54 § 2; 1965 c 9 § 29.62.020. Prior: 1957 c 195 § 15; prior: 1919 c 163 § 21, part; Code 1881 § 3095, part; 1868 p 20 § 1, part; 1865 p 39 § 6, part; RRS § 5340, part. Formerly RCW 29.62.020.]Notes:Absentee ballots, canvassing: RCW 29A.40.110. RCW 29A.60.170Counting center, direction and observation of proceedings Manual count of certain precincts.(1) The counting center in a county using voting systems is under the direction of the county auditor and must be observed by one representative from each major political party, if representatives have been appointed by the respective major political parties and these representatives are present while the counting center is operating. The proceedings must be open to the public, but no persons except those employed and authorized by the county auditor may touch any ballot or ballot container or operate a vote tallying system.  (2) In counties in which ballots are not counted at the polling place, the official political party observers, upon mutual agreement, may request that a precinct be selected at random on receipt of the ballots from the polling place and that a manual count be made of the number of ballots and of the votes cast on any office or issue. The ballots for that precinct must then be counted by the vote tallying system, and this result will be compared to the results of the manual count. This may be done as many as three times during the tabulation of ballots on the day of the primary or election.  (3) In counties using poll-site ballot counting devices, the political party observers, upon mutual agreement, may choose as many as three precincts and request that a manual count be made of the number of ballots and the votes cast on any office or issue. The results of this count will be compared to the count of the precinct made by the poll-site ballot counting device. These selections must be made no later than thirty minutes after the close of the polls. The manual count must be completed within forty-eight hours after the close of the polls. The process must take place at a location designated by the county auditor for that purpose. The political party observers must receive timely notice of the time and location, and have the right to be present. However, the process must proceed as scheduled if the observers are unable to attend.[2003 c 111 § 1517; 1999 c 158 § 9; 1990 c 59 § 30; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 71. Formerly RCW 29.54.025, 29.34.153.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.180Credit for voting Retention of ballots.Each registered voter casting an absentee ballot will be credited with voting on his or her voter registration record. Absentee ballots must be retained for the same length of time and in the same manner as ballots cast at the precinct polling places.[2003 c 111 § 1518. Prior: 2001 c 241 § 12; 1988 c 181 § 3; 1987 c 346 § 16; 1983 c 136 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.36.075; prior: 1961 c 78 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.36.330, 29.36.075.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.60.200Canvassing board Canvassing procedure Penalty.Before canvassing the returns of a primary or election, the chair of the county legislative authority or the chair's designee shall administer an oath to the county auditor or the auditor's designee attesting to the authenticity of the information presented to the canvassing board. This oath must be signed by the county auditor or designee and filed with the returns of the primary or election.  The county canvassing board shall proceed to verify the results from the precincts and the absentee ballots. The board shall execute a certificate of the results of the primary or election signed by all members of the board or their designees. Failure to certify the returns, if they can be ascertained with reasonable certainty, is a crime under RCW 29A.84.720.[2003 c 111 § 1520; 1990 c 59 § 63; 1965 c 9 § 29.62.040. Prior: 1957 c 195 § 17; prior: (i) 1919 c 163 § 21, part; Code 1881 § 3095, part; 1868 p 20 § 1, part; 1865 p 39 § 6, part; RRS § 5340, part. (ii) 1893 c 112 § 2; RRS § 5342. (iii) 1903 c 85 § 1, part; Code 1881 § 3094, part; 1865 p 38 § 4, part; RRS § 5339, part. Formerly RCW 29.62.040.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.60.210Recanvass Generally.Whenever the canvassing board finds during the initial counting process, or during any subsequent recount thereof, that there is an apparent discrepancy or an inconsistency in the returns of a primary or election, or that election staff has made an error regarding the treatment or disposition of a ballot, the board may recanvass the ballots or voting devices in any precincts of the county. The canvassing board shall conduct any necessary recanvass activity on or before the last day to certify or recertify the results of the primary, election, or subsequent recount and correct any error and document the correction of any error that it finds.[2005 c 243 § 17; 2003 c 111 § 1521; 1990 c 59 § 64; 1965 c 9 §29.62.050 . Prior: 1951 c 193 § 1; 1917 c 7 § 1, part; 1913 c 58 § 15, part; RRS § 5315, part. Formerly RCW 29.62.050.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.Voting systems: Chapter 29A.12 RCW. RCW 29A.60.230Abstract by election officer Transmittal to secretary of state.(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 cumulative report of the election and a copy of the certificate of the election must be 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 must be contiguous.[2003 c 111 § 1523; 2001 c 225 § 2; 1999 c 298 § 21; 1990 c 262 § 1; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 96; 1965 c 9 §29.62.090 . Prior: (i) 1895 c 156 § 12; Code 1881 § 3101; 1865 p 40 § 12; RRS § 5346. (ii) Code 1881 § 3103; 1865 p 41 § 14; RRS § 5348. Formerly RCW 29.62.090.]Notes:Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.240Secretary of state Primary returns State offices, etc.The secretary of state shall, as soon as possible but in any event not later than the third Tuesday following the primary, canvass and certify the returns of all primary elections as to candidates for state offices, United States senators and representatives in Congress, and all other candidates whose district extends beyond the limits of a single county.[2003 c 111 § 1524; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 97; 1965 c 9 § 29.62.100. Prior: 1961 c 130 § 11; prior: 1907 c 209 § 24, part; RRS § 5201, part. Formerly RCW 29.62.100.]Notes:Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040. RCW 29A.60.250Secretary of state Final returns Scope.As soon as the returns have been received from all the counties of the state, but not later than the thirtieth day after the election, the secretary of state shall canvass and certify the returns of the general election as to candidates for state offices, the United States senate, congress, and all other candidates whose districts extend beyond the limits of a single county. The secretary of state shall transmit a copy of the certification to the governor, president of the senate, and speaker of the house of representatives.[2005 c 243 § 18; 2003 c 111 § 1525; 1965 c 9 § 29.62.120. Prior: Code 1881 § 3100, part; No RRS. Formerly RCW 29.62.120.] RCW 29A.60.260Canvass on statewide measures.The votes on proposed amendments to the state Constitution, recommendations for the calling of constitutional conventions and other questions submitted to the people must be counted, canvassed, and returned by each county canvassing board in the manner provided by law for counting, canvassing, and returning votes for candidates for state offices. The secretary of state shall, in the presence of the governor, within thirty days after the election, canvass the votes upon each question and certify to the governor the result. The governor shall forthwith issue a proclamation giving the whole number of votes cast in the state for and against such measure and declaring the result. If the vote cast upon an initiative or referendum measure is equal to less than one-third of the total vote cast at the election, the governor shall proclaim the measure to have failed.[2003 c 111 § 1526; 1965 c 9 § 29.62.130. Prior: (i) 1913 c 138 § 30; RRS § 5426. (ii) 1917 c 23 § 1; RRS § 5341. Formerly RCW 29.62.130.]

USA Statutes : washington