USA Washington

USA Statutes : washington
Title : Elections
Chapter : General provisions
RCW 29A.04.330City, town, and district general and special elections Exceptions.(1) All city, town, and district general elections shall be held throughout the state of Washington on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in the odd-numbered years.  This section shall not apply to:  (a) Elections for the recall of any elective public officer;  (b) Public utility districts, conservation districts, or district elections at which the ownership of property within those districts is a prerequisite to voting, all of which elections shall be held at the times prescribed in the laws specifically applicable thereto;  (c) Consolidation proposals as provided for in RCW 28A.315.235 and nonhigh capital fund aid proposals as provided for in chapter 28A.540 RCW.  (2) The county auditor, as ex officio supervisor of elections, upon request in the form of a resolution of the governing body of a city, town, or district, presented to the auditor at least forty-five days prior to the proposed election date, may, if the county auditor deems an emergency to exist, call a special election in such city, town, or district, and for the purpose of such special election he or she may combine, unite, or divide precincts. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, such a special election shall be held on one of the following dates as decided by the governing body:  (a) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in February;  (b) The second Tuesday in March;  (c) The fourth Tuesday in April;  (d) The third Tuesday in May;  (e) The day of the primary election as specified by *RCW 29A.04.310; or  (f) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  (3) In a presidential election year, if a presidential preference primary is conducted in February, March, April, or May under chapter 29A.56 RCW, the date on which a special election may be called under subsection (2) of this section during the month of that primary is the date of the presidential primary.  (4) In addition to subsection (2)(a) through (f) of this section, a special election to validate an excess levy or bond issue may be called at any time to meet the needs resulting from fire, flood, earthquake, or other act of God, except that no special election may be held between the first day for candidates to file for public office and the last day to certify the returns of the general election other than as provided in subsection (2)(e) and (f) of this section. Such special election shall be conducted and notice thereof given in the manner provided by law.  (5) This section shall supersede the provisions of any and all other statutes, whether general or special in nature, having different dates for such city, town, and district elections, the purpose of this section being to establish mandatory dates for holding elections.[2004 c 266 § 6; 2003 c 111 § 145; 2002 c 43 § 2; 1994 c 142 § 2; 1992 c 37 § 2; 1990 c 33 § 562; 1989 c 4 § 10 (Initiative Measure No. 99); 1986 c 167 § 6; 1980 c 3 § 2; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 111 § 2; 1965 c 123 § 3; 1965 c 9 §29.13.020 . Prior: 1963 c 200 § 1; 1955 c 55 § 1; 1951 c 101 § 1; 1949 c 161 § 1; 1927 c 182 § 1; 1923 c 53 § 2; 1921 c 61 § 2; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 5144. Formerly RCW 29.13.020.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.310 was repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. For date of primary election, see RCW 29A.04.311.Effective date -- 2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575.Intent -- 2002 c 43: "The legislature finds that there are conflicting interpretations as to the intent of the legislature in the enactment of chapter 305, Laws of 1999. The purpose of this act is to make statutory changes that further clarify this intent.  It is the intent of the legislature that elections of conservation district supervisors continue to be conducted under procedures in the conservation district statutes, chapter 89.08 RCW, and that such elections not be conducted under the general election laws contained in Title 29 RCW. Further, it is the intent of the legislature that there be no change made with regard to applicability of the public disclosure act, chapter 42.17 RCW, to conservation district supervisors from those that existed before the enactment of chapter 305, Laws of 1999." [2002 c 43 § 1.]Effective date -- 2002 c 43: "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 [March 14, 2002]." [2002 c 43 § 6.]Effective date -- 1994 c 142: "This act shall take effect January 1, 1995." [1994 c 142 § 3.]Purpose -- Statutory references -- Severability -- 1990 c 33: See RCW 28A.900.100 through 28A.900.102.Severability -- 1986 c 167: See note following RCW 29A.04.049.Severability -- 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 111: "If any provision of this 1976 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 111 § 3.] RCW 29A.04.410Costs borne by constituencies.Every city, town, and district is liable for its proportionate share of the costs when such elections are held in conjunction with other elections held under RCW *29A.04.320 and 29A.04.330.  Whenever any city, town, or district holds any primary or election, general or special, on an isolated date, all costs of such elections must be borne by the city, town, or district concerned.  The purpose of this section is to clearly establish that the county is not responsible for any costs involved in the holding of any city, town, or district election.  In recovering such election expenses, including a reasonable pro-ration of administrative costs, the county auditor shall certify the cost to the county treasurer with a copy to the clerk or auditor of the city, town, or district concerned. Upon receipt of such certification, the county treasurer shall make the transfer from any available and appropriate city, town, or district funds to the county current expense fund or to the county election reserve fund if such a fund is established. Each city, town, or district must be promptly notified by the county treasurer whenever such transfer has been completed. However, in those districts wherein a treasurer, other than the county treasurer, has been appointed such transfer procedure does not apply, but the district shall promptly issue its warrant for payment of election costs.[2003 c 111 § 146; 1965 c 123 § 5; 1965 c 9 § 29.13.045. Prior: 1963 c 200 § 7; 1951 c 257 § 5. Formerly RCW 29.13.045.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.320 was repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Later enactment, see RCW 29A.04.321.County, municipality, or special district facilities as polling places, payment for: RCW 29A.16.120.Diking districts, election to authorize, costs: RCW 85.38.060.Diking or drainage district, reorganization into improvement district1917 act, election to authorize: RCW 85.38.060.1933 act, election to authorize: RCW 85.38.060.Expense of printing and distributing ballot materials: RCW 29A.36.220.Port districts, formation of, election on, expense of: RCW 53.04.070.Public utility district elections, expense of: RCW 54.08.041.Reclamation districts of one million acres, election to form, expense: RCW 89.30.115.Soil and water conservation district, election to form, expense: RCW 89.08.140.Water-sewer districtsannexation of territory by, election on, expense: RCW 57.24.050.formation of, expense: RCW 57.04.055. RCW 29A.04.001Scope of definitions.Words and phrases as defined in this chapter, wherever used in Title 29A RCW, shall have the meaning as in this chapter ascribed to them, unless where used the context thereof shall clearly indicate to the contrary or unless otherwise defined in the chapter of which they are a part.[2003 c 111 § 101. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.01.005. For like prior law see 1907 c 209 § 1, part; RRS § 5177, part. Formerly RCW 29.01.005.] RCW 29A.04.013Canvassing."Canvassing" means the process of examining ballots or groups of ballots, subtotals, and cumulative totals in order to determine the official returns of a primary or general election and includes the tabulation of any votes that were not tabulated at the precinct or in a counting center on the day of the primary or election.[2003 c 111 § 103; 1990 c 59 § 3. Formerly RCW 29.01.008.]Notes:Intent -- 1990 c 59: "By this act the legislature intends to unify and simplify the laws and procedures governing filing for elective office, ballot layout, ballot format, voting equipment, and canvassing." [1990 c 59 § 1.]Effective date -- 1990 c 59: "Sections 1 through 6, 8 through 96, and 98 through 112 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1992." [1990 c 59 § 113.] RCW 29A.04.019Counting center."Counting center" means the facility or facilities designated by the county auditor to count and canvass mail ballots, absentee ballots, and polling place ballots that are transferred to a central site to be counted, rather than being counted by a poll-site ballot counting device, on the day of a primary or election.[2003 c 111 § 104. Prior: 1999 c 158 § 1; 1990 c 59 § 4. Formerly RCW 29.01.042.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.04.025County auditor."County auditor" means the county auditor in a noncharter county or the officer, irrespective of title, having the overall responsibility to maintain voter registration and to conduct state and local elections in a charter county.[2003 c 111 § 105; 1984 c 106 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.01.043.] RCW 29A.04.031Date of mailing.For registered voters voting by absentee or mail ballot, "date of mailing" means the date of the postal cancellation on the envelope in which the ballot is returned to the election official by whom it was issued. For all nonregistered absentee voters, "date of mailing" means the date stated by the voter on the envelope in which the ballot is returned to the election official by whom it was issued.[2003 c 111 § 106; 1987 c 346 § 3. Formerly RCW 29.01.045.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.037Disabled voter."Disabled voter" means any registered voter who qualifies for special parking privileges under RCW 46.16.381, or who is defined as blind under RCW 74.18.020, or who qualifies to require assistance with voting under RCW 29A.44.240.[2003 c 111 § 107. Prior: 1987 c 346 § 4. Formerly RCW 29.01.047.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.043Election."Election" when used alone means a general election except where the context indicates that a special election is included. "Election" when used without qualification does not include a primary.[2003 c 111 § 108. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 5; 1965 c 9 § 29.01.050; prior: 1907 c 209 § 1, part; RRS § 5177(c). See also 1950 ex.s. c 14 § 3. Formerly RCW 29.01.050.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.04.049Election board."Election board" means a group of election officers serving one precinct or a group of precincts in a polling place.[2003 c 111 § 109; 1986 c 167 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.01.055.]Notes:Severability -- 1986 c 167: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1986 c 167 § 26.] RCW 29A.04.055Election officer."Election officer" includes any officer who has a duty to perform relating to elections under the provisions of any statute, charter, or ordinance.[2003 c 111 § 110. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.01.060. Formerly RCW 29.01.060.] RCW 29A.04.061Elector."Elector" means any person who possesses all of the qualifications to vote under Article VI of the state Constitution.[2003 c 111 § 111. Prior: 1987 c 346 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.01.065.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.067Filing officer."Filing officer" means the county or state officer with whom declarations of candidacy for an office are required to be filed under this title.[2003 c 111 § 112. Prior: 1990 c 59 § 77. Formerly RCW 29.01.068.]Notes:Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013. RCW 29A.04.073General election."General election" means an election required to be held on a fixed date recurring at regular intervals.[2003 c 111 § 113. Prior: 1965 c 9 §29.01.070 . Formerly RCW 29.01.070.] RCW 29A.04.079Infamous crime.An "infamous crime" is a crime punishable by death in the state penitentiary or imprisonment in a state correctional facility.[2003 c 111 § 114. Prior: 1992 c 7 § 31; 1965 c 9 § 29.01.080; prior: Code 1881 § 3054; 1865 p 25 § 5; RRS § 5113. Formerly RCW 29.01.080.]Notes:Contests, conviction of felony without reversal or restoration of civil rights as grounds for: RCW 29A.68.020.Denial of civil rights for conviction of infamous crime: State Constitution Art. 6 § 3. RCW 29A.04.086Major political party."Major political party" means a political party of which at least one nominee for president, vice president, United States senator, or a statewide office received at least five percent of the total vote cast at the last preceding state general election in an even-numbered year. A political party qualifying as a major political party under this section retains such status until the next even-year election at which a candidate of that party does not achieve at least five percent of the vote for one of the previously specified offices. If none of these offices appear on the ballot in an even-year general election, the major party retains its status as a major party through that election. However, a political party of which no nominee received at least ten percent of the total vote cast may forgo its status as a major political party by filing with the secretary of state an appropriate party rule within sixty days of attaining major party status under this section, or within fifteen days of June 10, 2004, whichever is later.[2004 c 271 § 103.] RCW 29A.04.091Measures."Measure" includes any proposition or question submitted to the voters.[2003 c 111 § 117; 1965 c 9 § 29.01.110. Formerly RCW 29.01.110.] RCW 29A.04.097Minor political party."Minor political party" means a political organization other than a major political party.[2003 c 111 § 116. Prior: 1965 c 9 §29.01.100 ; prior: 1955 c 102 § 8; prior: 1907 c 209 § 26, part; RRS § 5203, part. Formerly RCW 29.01.100.]Notes:Minor party convention: RCW 29A.20.110 through 29A.20.200.Political parties: Chapter 29A.80 RCW. RCW 29A.04.103Out-of-state voter."Out-of-state voter" means any elector of the state of Washington outside the state but not outside the territorial limits of the United States or the District of Columbia.[2003 c 111 § 118. Prior: 1987 c 346 § 5. Formerly RCW 29.01.113.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.109Overseas voter."Overseas voter" means any elector of the state of Washington outside the territorial limits of the United States or the District of Columbia.[2003 c 111 § 119. Prior: 1987 c 346 § 6. Formerly RCW 29.01.117.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.115Poll-site ballot counting devices."Poll-site ballot counting device" means a device programmed to accept voted ballots at a polling place for the purpose of tallying and storing the ballots on election day.[2003 c 111 § 120. Prior: 1999 c 158 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.01.119.] RCW 29A.04.121Precinct."Precinct" means a geographical subdivision for voting purposes that is established by a county legislative authority.[2003 c 111 § 121; 1965 c 9 § 29.01.120. Prior: 1933 c 1 § 2; RRS § 5114-2; prior: 1915 c 16 § 1; RRS § 5114. Formerly RCW 29.01.120.] RCW 29A.04.133Qualified."Qualified" when pertaining to a winner of an election means that for such election:  (1) The results have been certified;  (2) A certificate has been issued;  (3) Any required bond has been posted; and  (4) The winner has taken and subscribed an oath or affirmation in compliance with the appropriate statute, or if none is specified, that he or she will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office to the best of his or her ability. This oath or affirmation shall be administered and certified by any officer or notary public authorized to administer oaths, without charge therefor.[2003 c 111 § 123. Prior: 1979 ex.s. c 126 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.01.135.]Notes:Purpose -- 1979 ex.s. c 126: RCW 29A.20.040(1). RCW 29A.04.139Recount."Recount" means the process of retabulating ballots and producing amended election returns based on that retabulation, even if the vote totals have not changed.[2003 c 111 § 124. Prior: 2001 c 225 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.01.136.] RCW 29A.04.145Registered voter."Registered voter" means any elector who has completed the statutory registration procedures established by this title. The terms "registered voter" and "qualified elector" are synonymous.[2003 c 111 § 125; 1987 c 346 § 7. Formerly RCW 29.01.137.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.151Residence."Residence" for the purpose of registering and voting means a person's permanent address where he or she physically resides and maintains his or her abode. However, no person gains residence by reason of his or her presence or loses his or her residence by reason of his or her absence:  (1) While employed in the civil or military service of the state or of the United States;  (2) While engaged in the navigation of the waters of this state or the United States or the high seas;  (3) While a student at any institution of learning;  (4) While confined in any public prison.  Absence from the state on business shall not affect the question of residence of any person unless the right to vote has been claimed or exercised elsewhere.[2003 c 111 § 126; 1971 ex.s. c 178 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.01.140. Prior: 1955 c 181 § 1; prior: (i) Code 1881 § 3051; 1865 p 25 § 2; RRS § 5110. (ii) Code 1881 § 3053; 1866 p 8 § 11; 1865 p 25 § 4; RRS § 5111. Formerly RCW 29.01.140.]Notes:Residence, contingencies affecting: State Constitution Art. 6 § 4. RCW 29A.04.163Service voter."Service voter" means any elector of the state of Washington who is a member of the armed forces under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1973 ff-6 while in active service, is a student or member of the faculty at a United States military academy, is a member of the merchant marine of the United States, is a program participant as defined in RCW 40.24.020, or is a member of a religious group or welfare agency officially attached to and serving with the armed forces of the United States.[2003 c 111 § 127. Prior: 1991 c 23 § 13; 1987 c 346 § 8. Formerly RCW 29.01.155.]Notes:Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010. RCW 29A.04.169Short term."Short term" means the brief period of time starting upon the completion of the certification of election returns and ending with the start of the full term and is applicable only when the office concerned is being held by an appointee to fill a vacancy. The vacancy must have occurred after the last election at which such office could have been voted upon for an unexpired term. Short term elections are always held in conjunction with elections for the full term for the office.[2003 c 111 § 130; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 120 § 14. Formerly RCW 29.01.180.]Notes:Severability -- 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 120: See note following RCW 29A.52.210. RCW 29A.04.175Special election."Special election" means any election that is not a general election and may be held in conjunction with a general election or primary.[2003 c 111 § 129; 1965 c 9 § 29.01.170. Prior: Code 1881 § 3056; 1865 p 27 § 2; RRS § 5155. Formerly RCW 29.01.170.] RCW 29A.04.205State policy.It is the policy of the state of Washington to encourage every eligible person to register to vote and to participate fully in all elections, and to protect the integrity of the electoral process by providing equal access to the process while guarding against discrimination and fraud. The election registration laws and the voting laws of the state of Washington must be administered without discrimination based upon race, creed, color, national origin, sex, or political affiliation.[2003 c 111 § 132; 2001 c 41 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.04.001.] RCW 29A.04.210Registration required Exception.Only a registered voter shall be permitted to vote:  (1) At any election held for the purpose of electing persons to public office;  (2) At any recall election of a public officer;  (3) At any election held for the submission of a measure to any voting constituency;  (4) At any primary election.  This section does not apply to elections where being registered to vote is not a prerequisite to voting.[2003 c 111 § 133; 1965 c 9 § 29.04.010. Prior: 1955 c 181 § 8; prior: (i) 1933 c 1 § 22, part; RRS § 5114-22, part. (ii) 1933 c 1 § 23; RRS § 5114-23. See also 1935 c 26 § 3; RRS § 5189. Formerly RCW 29.04.010.]Notes:Out-of-state, overseas, service voters, same ballots as registered voters: RCW 29A.40.010.Subversive activities, disqualification from voting: RCW 9.81.040. RCW 29A.04.220County auditor Public notice of availability of services.The county auditor shall provide public notice of the availability of registration and voting aids, assistance to elderly and disabled persons, and procedures for voting by absentee ballot calculated to reach elderly and disabled persons not later than public notice of the closing of registration for a primary or election.[2003 c 111 § 135; 1999 c 298 § 18; 1985 c 205 § 10. Formerly RCW 29.57.140.]Notes:Effective dates -- 1985 c 205: See note following RCW 29A.16.140. RCW 29A.04.225Public disclosure reports. (Effective until July 1, 2006.)Each county auditor or county elections official shall ensure that reports filed pursuant to chapter 42.17 RCW are arranged, handled, indexed, and disclosed in a manner consistent with the rules of the public disclosure commission adopted under RCW 42.17.375.[2003 c 111 § 136. Prior: 1983 c 294 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.04.025.]RCW 29A.04.225Public disclosure reports. (Effective July 1, 2006.)Each county auditor or county elections official shall ensure that reports filed pursuant to chapter 42.56 RCW are arranged, handled, indexed, and disclosed in a manner consistent with the rules of the public disclosure commission adopted under RCW 42.17.375.[2005 c 274 § 248; 2003 c 111 § 136. Prior: 1983 c 294 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.04.025.]Notes:Part headings not law -- Effective date--2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902. RCW 29A.04.230Secretary of state as chief election officer.The secretary of state through the election division shall be the chief election officer for all federal, state, county, city, town, and district elections that are subject to this title. The secretary of state shall keep records of elections held for which he or she is required by law to canvass the results, make such records available to the public upon request, and coordinate those state election activities required by federal law.[2003 c 111 § 137; 1994 c 57 § 4; 1965 c 9 §29.04.070 . Prior: 1963 c 200 § 23; 1949 c 161 § 12; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 5147-2. Formerly RCW 29.04.070.]Notes:Severability -- 1994 c 57: See note following RCW 10.64.021. RCW 29A.04.235Election laws for county auditors.The secretary of state shall ensure that each county auditor is provided with the most recent version of the election laws of the state, as contained in this title. Where amendments have been enacted after the last compilation of the election laws, he or she shall ensure that each county auditor receives a copy of those amendments before the next primary or election. The county auditor shall ensure that any statutory information necessary for the precinct election officers to perform their duties is supplied to them in a timely manner.[2003 c 111 § 138; 1965 c 9 § 29.04.060. Prior: (i) 1907 c 209 § 16; RRS § 5193. (ii) 1889 p 413 § 34; RRS § 5299. Formerly RCW 29.04.060.] RCW 29A.04.240Information in foreign languages.In order to encourage the broadest possible voting participation by all eligible citizens, the secretary of state shall produce voter registration information in the foreign languages required of state agencies.[2003 c 111 § 139; 2001 c 41 § 3. Formerly RCW 29.04.085.] RCW 29A.04.245Voter guide.The secretary of state shall cause to be produced a "voter guide" detailing what constitutes voter fraud and discrimination under state election laws. This voter guide must be provided to every county election officer and auditor, and any other person upon request.[2003 c 111 § 140; 2001 c 41 § 4. Formerly RCW 29.04.088.] RCW 29A.04.250Toll-free media and web page.The secretary of state shall provide a toll-free media and web page designed to allow voter communication with the office of the secretary of state.[2003 c 111 § 141. Prior: 2001 c 41 § 5. Formerly RCW 29.04.091.] RCW 29A.04.255Electronic facsimile documents Acceptance.The secretary of state or a county auditor shall accept and file in his or her office electronic facsimile transmissions of the following documents:  (1) Declarations of candidacy;  (2) County canvass reports;  (3) Voters' pamphlet statements;  (4) Arguments for and against ballot measures that will appear in a voters' pamphlet;  (5) Requests for recounts;  (6) Certification of candidates and measures by the secretary of state;  (7) Direction by the secretary of state for the conduct of a mandatory recount;  (8) Requests for absentee ballots;  (9) Any other election related document authorized by rule adopted by the secretary of state under *RCW 29A.04.610.  The acceptance by the secretary of state or the county auditor is conditional upon the document being filed in a timely manner, being legible, and otherwise satisfying the requirements of state law or rules with respect to form and content.  If the original copy of a document must be signed and a copy of the document is filed by facsimile transmission under this section, the original copy must be subsequently filed with the official with whom the facsimile was filed. The original copy must be filed by a deadline established by the secretary by rule. The secretary may by rule require that the original of any document, a copy of which is filed by facsimile transmission under this section, also be filed by a deadline established by the secretary by rule.[2004 c 266 § 5; 2003 c 111 § 142; 1991 c 186 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.04.230.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.610 was amended by 2004 c 267 § 702 and repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Also cf. RCW 29A.04.611.Effective date -- 2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575. RCW 29A.04.311Primaries.Nominating primaries for general elections to be held in November, and the election of precinct committee officers, must be held on the third Tuesday of the preceding September or on the seventh Tuesday immediately preceding such general election, whichever occurs first.[2004 c 271 § 105.] RCW 29A.04.321State and local general elections Statewide general election Exceptions Special county elections.(1) All state, county, city, town, and district general elections for the election of federal, state, legislative, judicial, county, city, town, and district officers, and for the submission to the voters of the state, county, city, town, or district of any measure for their adoption and approval or rejection, shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, in the year in which they may be called. A statewide general election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November of each year. However, the statewide general election held in odd-numbered years shall be limited to (a) city, town, and district general elections as provided for in RCW 29A.04.330, or as otherwise provided by law; (b) the election of federal officers for the remainder of any unexpired terms in the membership of either branch of the Congress of the United States; (c) the election of state and county officers for the remainder of any unexpired terms of offices created by or whose duties are described in Article II, section 15, Article III, sections 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, and Article IV, sections 3 and 5 of the state Constitution and RCW 2.06.080; (d) the election of county officers in any county governed by a charter containing provisions calling for general county elections at this time; and (e) the approval or rejection of state measures, including proposed constitutional amendments, matters pertaining to any proposed constitutional convention, initiative measures and referendum measures proposed by the electorate, referendum bills, and any other matter provided by the legislature for submission to the electorate.  (2) A county legislative authority may, if it deems an emergency to exist, call a special county election by presenting a resolution to the county auditor at least forty-five days prior to the proposed election date. Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, a special election called by the county legislative authority shall be held on one of the following dates as decided by such governing body:  (a) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in February;  (b) The second Tuesday in March;  (c) The fourth Tuesday in April;  (d) The third Tuesday in May;  (e) The day of the primary as specified by RCW 29A.04.311; or  (f) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  (3) In addition to the dates set forth in subsection (2)(a) through (f) of this section, a special election to validate an excess levy or bond issue may be called at any time to meet the needs resulting from fire, flood, earthquake, or other act of God. Such county special election shall be noticed and conducted in the manner provided by law.  (4) In a presidential election year, if a presidential preference primary is conducted in February, March, April, or May under chapter 29A.56 RCW, the date on which a special election may be called by the county legislative authority under subsection (2) of this section during the month of that primary is the date of the presidential primary.  (5) This section shall supersede the provisions of any and all other statutes, whether general or special in nature, having different dates for such city, town, and district elections, the purpose of this section being to establish mandatory dates for holding elections except for those elections held pursuant to a home-rule charter adopted under Article XI, section 4 of the state Constitution. This section shall not be construed as fixing the time for holding primary elections, or elections for the recall of any elective public officer.[2004 c 271 § 106.] RCW 29A.04.420State share.(1) Whenever state officers or measures are voted upon at a state primary or general election held in an odd-numbered year under *RCW 29A.04.320, the state of Washington shall assume a prorated share of the costs of that state primary or general election.  (2) Whenever a primary or vacancy election is held to fill a vacancy in the position of United States senator or United States representative under chapter 29A.28 RCW, the state of Washington shall assume a prorated share of the costs of that primary or vacancy election.  (3) The county auditor shall apportion the state's share of these expenses when prorating election costs under RCW 29A.04.410 and shall file such expense claims with the secretary of state.  (4) The secretary of state shall include in his or her biennial budget requests sufficient funds to carry out this section. Reimbursements for election costs shall be from appropriations specifically provided by law for that purpose.[2003 c 111 § 147. Prior: 1985 c 45 § 2; 1977 ex.s. c 144 § 4; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 4 § 1; 1973 c 4 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.13.047.]Notes:*Reviser's note: RCW 29A.04.320 was repealed by 2004 c 271 § 193. Later enactment, see RCW 29A.04.321.Legislative intent -- 1985 c 45: "It is the intention of the legislature that sections 2 through 7 of this act shall provide an orderly and predictable election procedure for filling vacancies in the offices of United States representative and United States senator." [1985 c 45 § 1.] RCW 29A.04.430Interest on reimbursement.For any reimbursement of election costs under RCW 29A.04.420, the secretary of state shall pay interest at an annual rate equal to two percentage points in excess of the discount rate on ninety-day commercial paper in effect at the federal reserve bank in San Francisco on the fifteenth day of the month immediately preceding the payment for any period of time in excess of thirty days after the receipt of a properly executed and documented voucher for such expenses and the entry of an allotment from specifically appropriated funds for this purpose. The secretary of state shall promptly notify any county that submits an incomplete or inaccurate voucher for reimbursement under RCW 29A.04.420.[2003 c 111 § 148; 1986 c 167 § 7. Formerly RCW 29.13.048.]Notes:Severability -- 1986 c 167: See note following RCW 29A.04.049. RCW 29A.04.440Election account.(1) The election account is created in the state treasury.  (2) The following receipts must be deposited into the account:Amounts received from the federal government under Public Law 107-252 (October 29, 2002), known as the "Help America Vote Act of 2002," including any amounts received under subsequent amendments to the act;amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by the state legislature for the purposes of carrying out activities for which federal funds are provided to the state under Public Law 107-252, including any amounts received under subsequent amendments to the act;and such other amounts as may be appropriated by the legislature to the account.   (3) Moneys in the account may be spent only after appropriation. Expenditures from the account may be made only to facilitate the implementation of Public Law 107-252.[2004 c 266 § 2. Prior: 2003 c 48 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.04.260.]Notes:Effective date -- 2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575.Effective date -- 2003 c 48: "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 [April 17, 2003]." [2003 c 48 § 3.] RCW 29A.04.510Election administration and certification board Generally.(1) The Washington state election administration and certification board is established and has the responsibilities and authorities prescribed by this chapter. The board is composed of the following members:  (a) The secretary of state or the secretary's designee;  (b) The state director of elections or the director's designee;  (c) Four county auditors appointed by the Washington state association of county auditors or their alternates who are county auditors designated by the association to serve as such alternates, each appointee and alternate to serve at the pleasure of the association;  (d) One member from each of the two largest political party caucuses of the house of representatives designated by and serving at the pleasure of the legislative leader of the respective caucus;  (e) One member from each of the two largest political party caucuses of the senate designated by and serving at the pleasure of the legislative leader of the respective caucus; and  (f) One representative from each major political party, designated by and serving at the pleasure of the chair of the party's state central committee.  (2) The board shall elect a chair from among its number; however, neither the secretary of state nor the state director of elections nor their designees may serve as the chair of the board. A majority of the members appointed to the board constitutes a quorum for conducting the business of the board. Chapter 42.30 RCW, the Open Public Meetings Act, and RCW 42.32.030 regarding minutes of meetings, apply to the meetings of the board.  (3) Members of the board shall serve without compensation. The secretary of state shall reimburse members of the board, other than those who are members of the legislature, for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060. Members of the board who are members of the legislature shall be reimbursed as provided in chapter 44.04 RCW.[2003 c 111 § 149; 1992 c 163 § 3. Formerly RCW 29.60.010.] RCW 29A.04.530Duties of secretary of state.The secretary of state shall:  (1) Establish and operate, or provide by contract, training and certification programs for state and county elections administration officials and personnel, including training on the various types of election law violations and discrimination, and training programs for political party observers which conform to the rules for such programs established under RCW 29A.04.630;  (2) Establish guidelines, in consultation with state and local law enforcement or certified document examiners, for signature verification processes. All election personnel assigned to verify signatures must receive training on the guidelines;  (3) Administer tests for state and county officials and personnel who have received such training and issue certificates to those who have successfully completed the training and passed such tests;  (4) Maintain a record of those individuals who have received such training and certificates; and  (5) Provide the staffing and support services required by the board created under RCW 29A.04.510.[2005 c 243 § 2; 2003 c 111 § 151. Prior: 2001 c 41 § 11; 1992 c 163 § 5. Formerly RCW 29.60.030.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: "Sections 5 through 13 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1993." [1992 c 163 § 15.] RCW 29A.04.540Training of administrators.A person having responsibility for the administration or conduct of elections, other than precinct election officers, shall, within eighteen months of undertaking those responsibilities, receive general training regarding the conduct of elections and specific training regarding their responsibilities and duties as prescribed by this title or by rules adopted by the secretary of state under this title. Included among those persons for whom such training is mandatory are the following:  (1) Secretary of state elections division personnel;  (2) County elections administrators under RCW 36.22.220;  (3) County canvassing board members;  (4) Persons officially designated by each major political party as elections observers; and  (5) Any other person or group charged with election administration responsibilities if the person or group is designated by rule adopted by the secretary of state as requiring the training.  The secretary of state shall reimburse election observers in accordance with RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060 for travel expenses incurred to receive training required under subsection (4) of this section.  Neither this section nor RCW 29A.04.530 may be construed as requiring an elected official to receive training or a certificate of training as a condition for seeking or holding elective office or as a condition for carrying out constitutional duties.[2003 c 111 § 152; 1992 c 163 § 6. Formerly RCW 29.60.040.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: See note following RCW 29A.04.530. RCW 29A.04.550Denial of certification Review and appeal.(1) A decision of the secretary of state to deny certification under RCW 29A.04.530 must be entered in the manner specified for orders under the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW. Such a decision is not effective for a period of twenty days following the date of the decision, during which time the person denied certification may file a petition with the secretary of state requesting the secretary to reconsider the decision and to grant certification. The petitioner shall include in the petition, an explanation of the reasons why the initial decision is incorrect and certification should be granted, and may include a request for a hearing on the matter. The secretary of state shall reconsider the matter if the petition is filed in a proper and timely manner. If a hearing is requested, the secretary of state shall conduct the hearing within sixty days after the date on which the petition is filed. The secretary of state shall render a final decision on the matter within ninety days after the date on which the petition is filed.  (2) Within twenty days after the date on which the secretary of state makes a final decision denying a petition under this section, the petitioner may appeal the denial to the board created in RCW 29A.04.510. In deciding appeals, the board shall restrict its review to the record established when the matter was before the secretary of state. The board shall affirm the decision if it finds that the record supports the decision and that the decision is not inconsistent with other decisions of the secretary of state in which the same standards were applied and certification was granted. Similarly, the board shall reverse the decision and recommend to the secretary of state that certification be granted if the board finds that such support is lacking or that such inconsistency exists.  (3) Judicial review of certification decisions will be as prescribed under RCW 34.05.510 through 34.05.598, but is limited to the review of board decisions denying certification.[2003 c 111 § 153; 1992 c 163 § 7. Formerly RCW 29.60.050.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: See note following RCW 29A.04.530. RCW 29A.04.560Election review section.An election review section is established in the elections division of the office of the secretary of state. Permanent staff of the elections division, trained and certified as required by RCW 29A.04.540, shall perform the election review functions prescribed by RCW 29A.04.570. The staff may also be required to assist in training, certification, and other duties as may be assigned by the secretary of state to ensure the uniform and orderly conduct of elections in this state.[2003 c 111 § 154. Prior: 1992 c 163 § 8. Formerly RCW 29.60.060.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: See note following RCW 29A.04.530. RCW 29A.04.570Review of county election procedures.(1)(a) The election review staff of the office of the secretary of state shall conduct a review of election-related policies, procedures, and practices in an affected county or counties:  (i) If the unofficial returns of a primary or general election for a position in the state legislature indicate that a mandatory recount is likely for that position; or  (ii) If unofficial returns indicate a mandatory recount is likely in a statewide election or an election for federal office.  Reviews conducted under (ii) of this subsection shall be performed in as many selected counties as time and staffing permit. Reviews conducted as a result of mandatory recounts shall be performed between the time the unofficial returns are complete and the time the recount is to take place, if possible.  (b) In addition to conducting reviews under (a) of this subsection, the election review staff shall also conduct such a review in a county at least once in each three-year period, in conjunction with a county primary or special or general election, at the direction of the secretary of state or at the request of the county auditor. If staffing or budget levels do not permit a three-year election cycle for reviews, then reviews must be done as often as possible. If any resident of this state believes that an aspect of a primary or election has been conducted inappropriately in a county, the resident may file a complaint with the secretary of state. The secretary shall consider such complaints in scheduling periodic reviews under this section.  (c) Before an election review is conducted in a county, the secretary of state shall provide the county auditor of the affected county and the chair of the state central committee of each major political party with notice that the review is to be conducted. When a periodic review is to be conducted in a county at the direction of the secretary of state under (b) of this subsection, the secretary shall provide the affected county auditor not less than thirty days' notice.  (2) Reviews shall be conducted in conformance with rules adopted under RCW 29A.04.630. In performing a review in a county under this chapter, the election review staff shall evaluate the policies and procedures established for conducting the primary or election in the county and the practices of those conducting it. As part of the review, the election review staff shall issue to the county auditor and the members of the county canvassing board a report of its findings and recommendations regarding such policies, procedures, and practices. A review conducted under this chapter shall not include any evaluation, finding, or recommendation regarding the validity of the outcome of a primary or election or the validity of any canvass of returns nor does the election review staff have any jurisdiction to make such an evaluation, finding, or recommendation under this title.  (3) The county auditor or the county canvassing board shall respond to the review report in writing, listing the steps that will be taken to correct any problems listed in the report. The secretary of state shall visit the county before the next state primary or general election to verify that the county has taken the steps they listed to correct the problems noted in the report.  (4) The county auditor of the county in which a review is conducted under this section or a member of the canvassing board of the county may appeal the findings or recommendations of the election review staff regarding the review by filing an appeal with the board created under RCW 29A.04.510.[2005 c 240 § 1; 2003 c 111 § 155. Prior: 1997 c 284 § 1; 1992 c 163 § 9. Formerly RCW 29.60.070.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: See note following RCW 29A.04.530. RCW 29A.04.575Visits to elections offices, facilities.The secretary of state, or any staff of the elections division of the office of secretary of state, may make unannounced on-site visits to county election offices and facilities to observe the handling, processing, counting, or tabulation of ballots.[2004 c 266 § 1. Prior: 2003 c 109 § 1. Formerly RCW 29.04.075.]Notes:Effective date -- 2004 c 266: "This act takes effect July 1, 2004." [2004 c 266 § 25.] RCW 29A.04.580County auditor and review staff.The county auditor may designate any person who has been certified under this chapter, other than the auditor, to participate in a review conducted in the county under this chapter. Each county auditor and canvassing board shall cooperate fully during an election review by making available to the reviewing staff any material requested by the staff. The reviewing staff shall have full access to ballot pages, absentee voting materials, any other election material normally kept in a secure environment after the election, and other requested material. If ballots are reviewed by the staff, they shall be reviewed in the presence of the canvassing board or its designees. Ballots shall not leave the custody of the canvassing board. During the review and after its completion, the review staff may make appropriate recommendations to the county auditor or canvassing board, or both, to bring the county into compliance with the training required under this chapter, and the laws or rules of the state of Washington, to safeguard election material or to preserve the integrity of the elections process.[2003 c 111 § 156. Prior: 1992 c 163 § 10. Formerly RCW 29.60.080.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: See note following RCW 29A.04.530. RCW 29A.04.590Election assistance and clearinghouse program.The secretary of state shall establish within the elections division an election assistance and clearinghouse program, which shall provide regular communication between the secretary of state, local election officials, and major and minor political parties regarding newly enacted elections legislation, relevant judicial decisions affecting the administration of elections, and applicable attorney general opinions, and which shall respond to inquiries from elections administrators, political parties, and others regarding election information. This section does not empower the secretary of state to offer legal advice or opinions, but the secretary may discuss the construction or interpretation of election law, case law, or legal opinions from the attorney general or other competent legal authority.[2003 c 111 § 157. Prior: 1992 c 163 § 11. Formerly RCW 29.60.090.]Notes:Effective date -- 1992 c 163 §§ 5-13: See note following RCW 29A.04.530. RCW 29A.04.620Rules.The secretary of state as chief election officer may make rules in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW to facilitate the operation, accomplishment, and purpose of the presidential primary authorized in RCW 29A.56.010 through 29A.56.060. The secretary of state shall adopt rules consistent with this chapter to comply with national or state political party rules.[2003 c 111 § 162; 1995 1st sp.s. c 20 § 4; 1989 c 4 § 7 (Initiative Measure No. 99). Formerly RCW 29.19.070.]Notes:Effective date -- 1995 1st sp.s. c 20: See note following RCW 29A.56.020. RCW 29A.04.630Joint powers and duties with board.(1) The secretary of state and the board created in RCW 29A.04.510 shall jointly adopt rules, in the manner specified for the adoption of rules under the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW, governing:  (a) The training of persons officially designated by major political parties as elections observers under this title, and the training and certification of election administration officials and personnel;  (b) The policies and procedures for conducting election reviews under RCW 29A.04.570; and  (c) The policies and standards to be used by the board in reviewing and rendering decisions regarding appeals filed under RCW 29A.04.570.  (2) The board created in RCW 29A.04.510 may adopt rules governing its procedures.[2003 c 111 § 163; 1992 c 163 § 4. Formerly RCW 29.60.020.] RCW 29A.04.900Continuation of existing law.The provisions of this title insofar as they are substantially the same as statutory provisions repealed by this chapter, and relating to the same subject matter, shall be construed as restatements and continuations, and not as new enactments.[2003 c 111 § 158. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.98.010. Formerly RCW 29.98.010.] RCW 29A.04.901Headings and captions not part of law.Chapter headings, part, subpart, and section or subsection captions, as used in this title do not constitute any part of the law.[2003 c 111 § 159; 1965 c 9 § 29.98.020. Formerly RCW 29.98.020.] RCW 29A.04.902Invalidity of part not to affect remainder.If any provision of this title, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the title, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.[2003 c 111 § 160. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.98.030. Formerly RCW 29.98.030.]

USA Statutes : washington