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Chapter 29A.60 RCW

CANVASSING

RCW Sections

29A.60.010Conduct of elections -- Canvass.
29A.60.021Write-in voting -- Declaration of candidacy -- Counting of vote.
29A.60.040Rejection of ballots or parts -- Write-in votes.
29A.60.050Questions on validity of ballot -- Rejection -- Preservation and return.
29A.60.060Results after close of voting.
29A.60.070Returns, precinct and cumulative -- Delivery.
29A.60.090Voting systems -- Maintenance of documents.
29A.60.095Electronic voting devices--Record maintenance.
29A.60.100Votes by stickers, printed labels, rejected.
29A.60.110Ballot containers, sealing, opening.
29A.60.120Counting ballots -- Official returns.
29A.60.125Damaged ballots.
29A.60.130Certificate not withheld for informality in returns.
29A.60.140Canvassing board -- Membership -- Authority -- Delegation of authority -- Rule making.
29A.60.150Procedure when member a candidate.
29A.60.160Ballots -- Processing, canvassing.
29A.60.165Unsigned ballot declarations.
29A.60.170List of observers -- Counting center, direction and observation of proceedings -- Manual count of certain precincts.
29A.60.180Credit for voting.
29A.60.185Audit of results.
29A.60.190Certification of election results.
29A.60.195Provisional ballots--Disposition.
29A.60.200Canvassing board -- Canvassing procedure -- Penalty.
29A.60.210Recanvass -- Generally.
29A.60.221Tie in primary or final election.
29A.60.230Abstract by election officer -- Transmittal to secretary of state.
29A.60.235Reconciliation reports.
29A.60.240Secretary of state -- Primary returns -- State offices, etc.
29A.60.250Secretary of state -- Final returns -- Scope.
29A.60.260Canvass on statewide measures.
29A.60.270Local officers, beginning of terms -- Organization of district boards of directors.
29A.60.280Local elected officials, commencement of term of office -- Purpose.


29A.60.010
Conduct of elections — Canvass.

All elections, whether special or general, held under RCW 29A.04.321 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.

[2013 c 11 § 59; 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.]




29A.60.021
Write-in voting — Declaration of candidacy — Counting of vote.

(1) For any office, except precinct committee officer, at any election or primary, any voter may write in on the ballot the name of any person for an office who has filed as a write-in candidate for the office in the manner provided by RCW 29A.24.311 and such vote shall be counted the same as if the name had been printed on the ballot and marked by the voter. No write-in vote made for any person who has not filed a declaration of candidacy pursuant to RCW 29A.24.311 is valid if that person filed for the same office, either as a regular candidate or a write-in candidate, at the preceding primary. Any abbreviation used to designate office or position will be accepted if the canvassing board can determine, to its satisfaction, the voter's intent.

     (2) The number of write-in votes cast for each office must be recorded and reported with the canvass for the election.

     (3) A write-in vote for an individual candidate for an office whose name appears on the ballot for that same office is a valid vote for that candidate as long as the candidate's name is clearly discernible, even if other requirements of RCW 29A.24.311 are not satisfied and even if the voter also marked a vote for that candidate such as to register an overvote. These votes need not be tabulated unless: (a) The difference between the number of votes cast for the candidate apparently qualified to appear on the general election ballot or elected and the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes is less than the sum of the total number of write-in votes cast for the office plus the overvotes and undervotes recorded by the vote tabulating system; or (b) a manual recount is conducted for that office.

     (4) Write-in votes cast for an individual candidate for an office whose name does not appear on the ballot need not be tallied unless the total number of write-in votes and undervotes recorded by the vote tabulation system for the office is greater than the number of votes cast for the candidate apparently qualified to appear on the general election ballot or elected.

     (5) In the case of write-in votes for a statewide office or any office whose jurisdiction encompasses more than one county, write-in votes for an individual candidate must be tallied when the county auditor is notified by either the secretary of state or another county auditor in the multicounty jurisdiction that it appears that the write-in votes must be tabulated under the terms of this section. In all other cases, the county auditor determines when write-in votes must be tabulated. Any abstract of votes must be modified to reflect the tabulation and certified by the canvassing board. Tabulation of write-in votes may be performed simultaneously with a recount.

[2012 c 89 § 4; 2005 c 243 § 12; 2004 c 271 § 147.]

Notes:

     Intent -- Finding -- Effective date -- 2012 c 89: See notes following RCW 29A.24.311.




29A.60.040
Rejection 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.

     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.60.021; 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 canvassing board can determine the issue for or against which or the person and the office for which the voter intended to vote.

[2011 c 10 § 47; 2009 c 414 § 2; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     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.




29A.60.050
Questions on validity of ballot — Rejection — Preservation and return.

Whenever 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.

[2011 c 10 § 48; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     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.




29A.60.060
Results after close of voting.

After the close of voting at 8:00 p.m., the county auditor must directly load the results from any direct recording electronic memory pack into the central accumulator.

[2013 c 11 § 60; 2011 c 10 § 49; 2003 c 111 § 1506. Prior: 1999 c 158 § 12. Formerly RCW 29.54.097.]

Notes:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.




29A.60.070
Returns, precinct and cumulative — Delivery.

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 42.56 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 274 § 249; 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.




29A.60.090
Voting 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.




29A.60.095
Electronic voting devices — Record maintenance.

(1) The electronic record produced and counted by electronic voting devices is the official record of each vote for election purposes. The paper record produced under RCW 29A.12.085 must be stored and maintained for use only in the following circumstances:

     (a) In the event of a manual recount;

     (b) By order of the county canvassing board;

     (c) By order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or

     (d) For use in the random audit of results described in RCW 29A.60.185.

     (2) When such paper record is used in any of the circumstances listed in subsection (1) of this section, it shall be the official record of the election.

[2005 c 242 § 3.]

Notes:

Required: RCW 29A.12.085.

Unauthorized removal of paper record from voting center: RCW 29A.84.545.




29A.60.100
Votes 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.




29A.60.110
Ballot 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.

     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, to conduct recounts, to conduct a random check under RCW
29A.60.170, 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.

[2013 c 11 § 61; 2011 c 10 § 50; 2003 c 111 § 1511; 1999 c 158 § 14; 1990 c 59 § 59. Formerly RCW 29.54.075.]

Notes:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.




29A.60.120
Counting ballots — Official returns.

(1) 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.

     (2) The returns produced by the vote tallying system, to which have been added the counts of questioned ballots, and write-in votes, constitute the official returns of the primary or election in that county.

[2011 c 10 § 51; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     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.




29A.60.125
Damaged ballots.

If inspection of the ballot reveals a physically damaged ballot or ballot that may be otherwise unreadable or uncountable by the tabulating system, the county auditor may refer the ballot to the county canvassing board or duplicate the ballot if so authorized by the county canvassing board. The voter's original ballot may not be altered. A ballot may be duplicated only if the intent of the voter's marks on the ballot is clear and the electronic voting equipment might not otherwise properly tally the ballot to reflect the intent of the voter. Ballots must be duplicated by teams of two or more people working together. When duplicating ballots, the county auditor shall take the following steps to create and maintain an audit trail of the action taken:

     (1) Each original ballot and duplicate ballot must be assigned the same unique control number, with the number being marked upon the face of each ballot, to ensure that each duplicate ballot may be tied back to the original ballot;

     (2) A log must be kept of the ballots duplicated, which must at least include:

     (a) The control number of each original ballot and the corresponding duplicate ballot;

     (b) The initials of at least two people who participated in the duplication of each ballot; and

     (c) The total number of ballots duplicated.

     Original and duplicate ballots must be sealed in secure storage at all times, except during duplication, inspection by the canvassing board, or tabulation.

[2005 c 243 § 10.]




29A.60.130
Certificate 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.]




29A.60.140
Canvassing board — Membership — Authority — Delegation of authority — Rule making.

(1) Members of the county canvassing board are the county auditor, who is the chair, the county prosecuting attorney, and the chair of the county legislative body. If a member of the board is not available to carry out the duties of the board, then the auditor may designate a deputy auditor, the prosecutor may designate a deputy prosecuting attorney, and the chair of the county legislative body may designate another member of the county legislative body or, in a county with a population over one million, an employee of the legislative body who reports directly to the chair. An "employee of the legislative body" means an individual who serves in any of the following positions: Chief of staff; legal counsel; clerk of the council; policy staff director; and any successor positions to these positions should these original positions be changed. Any such designation may be made on an election-by-election basis or may be on a permanent basis until revoked by the designating authority. Any such designation must be in writing, and if for a specific election, must be filed with the county auditor not later than the day before the first day duties are to be undertaken by the canvassing board. If the designation is permanent until revoked by the designating authority, then the designation must be on file in the county auditor's office no later than the day before the first day the designee is to undertake the duties of the canvassing board. Members of the county canvassing board designated by the county auditor, county prosecuting attorney, or chair of the county legislative body shall complete training as provided in RCW 29A.04.540 and shall take an oath of office similar to that taken by county auditors and deputy auditors in the performance of their duties.

     (2) The county canvassing board may adopt rules that delegate in writing to the county auditor or the county auditor's staff the performance of any task assigned by law to the canvassing board.

     (3) The county canvassing board may not delegate the responsibility of certifying the returns of a primary or election, of determining the validity of challenged ballots, or of determining the validity of provisional ballots referred to the board by the county auditor.

     (4) The county canvassing board shall adopt administrative rules to facilitate and govern the canvassing process in that jurisdiction.

     (5) Meetings of the county canvassing board are public meetings under chapter 42.30 RCW. All rules adopted by the county canvassing board must be adopted in a public meeting under chapter 42.30 RCW, and once adopted must be available to the public to review and copy under chapter 42.56 RCW.

[2008 c 308 § 1; 2005 c 274 § 250; 2003 c 111 § 1514.]

Notes:

     Part headings not law -- Effective date--2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902.




29A.60.150
Procedure 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.]




29A.60.160
Ballots — Processing, canvassing.

(1) The county auditor, as delegated by the county canvassing board, shall process 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 five hundred ballots that have yet to be canvassed.

     (2) Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are not counted for purposes of this section.

     (3) In order to protect the secrecy of a ballot, the county auditor may use discretion to decide when to process ballots and canvass the votes.

     (4) Tabulation results must be made available to the public immediately upon completion of the canvass.

[2013 c 11 § 62; 2011 c 10 § 53; (2011 c 10 § 52 expired July 1, 2013); 2007 c 373 § 2; (2007 c 373 § 1 expired July 1, 2013). Prior: 2005 c 243 § 15; (2005 c 153 § 11 expired July 1, 2013); 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:

     Effective date -- 2011 c 10 §§ 53 and 58: "Sections 53 and 58 of this act take effect July 1, 2013." [2011 c 10 § 88.]

     Expiration date -- 2011 c 10 §§ 52 and 57: "Sections 52 and 57 of this act expire July 1, 2013." [2011 c 10 § 89.]

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Effective date -- 2007 c 373 § 2: "Section 2 of this act takes effect July 1, 2013." [2007 c 373 § 5.]

     Expiration date -- 2007 c 373 § 1: "Section 1 of this act expires July 1, 2013." [2007 c 373 § 4.]

     Expiration date--2005 c 153 §§ 11 and 12: "Sections 11 and 12 of this act expire July 1, 2013." [2005 c 153 § 14.]

Absentee ballots, canvassing: RCW 29A.40.110.




29A.60.165
Unsigned ballot declarations.

(1) If the voter neglects to sign the ballot declaration, the auditor shall notify the voter by first-class mail and advise the voter of the correct procedures for completing the unsigned declaration. If the ballot is received within three business days of the final meeting of the canvassing board, or the voter has been notified by first-class mail and has not responded at least three business days before the final meeting of the canvassing board, then the auditor shall attempt to notify the voter by telephone, using the voter registration record information.

     (2)(a) If the handwriting of the signature on a ballot declaration is not the same as the handwriting of the signature on the registration file, the auditor shall notify the voter by first-class mail, enclosing a copy of the declaration, and advise the voter of the correct procedures for updating his or her signature on the voter registration file. If the ballot is received within three business days of the final meeting of the canvassing board, or the voter has been notified by first-class mail and has not responded at least three business days before the final meeting of the canvassing board, then the auditor shall attempt to notify the voter by telephone, using the voter registration record information.

     (b) If the signature on a ballot declaration is not the same as the signature on the registration file because the name is different, the ballot may be counted as long as the handwriting is clearly the same. The auditor shall send the voter a change-of-name form under RCW
29A.08.440 and direct the voter to complete the form.

     (c) If the signature on a ballot declaration is not the same as the signature on the registration file because the voter used initials or a common nickname, the ballot may be counted as long as the surname and handwriting are clearly the same.

     (3) A voter may not cure a missing or mismatched signature for purposes of counting the ballot in a recount.

     (4) A record must be kept of all ballots with missing and mismatched signatures. The record must contain the date on which the voter was contacted or the notice was mailed, as well as the date on which the voter submitted updated information. That record is a public record under chapter 42.56 RCW and may be disclosed to interested parties on written request.

[2013 c 11 § 63; 2011 c 10 § 54. Prior: 2006 c 209 § 4; 2006 c 208 § 1; 2005 c 243 § 8.]

Notes:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Effective date -- 2006 c 209: See RCW 42.56.903.




29A.60.170
List of observers — Counting center, direction and observation of proceedings — Manual count of certain precincts.

(1) At least twenty-eight days prior to any special election, general election, or primary, the county auditor shall request from the chair of the county central committee of each major political party a list of individuals who are willing to serve as observers. The county auditor has discretion to also request observers from any campaign or organization. The county auditor may delete from the lists names of those persons who indicate to the county auditor that they cannot or do not wish to serve as observers, and names of those persons who, in the judgment of the county auditor, lack the ability to properly serve as observers after training has been made available to them by the auditor.

     (2) The counting center is under the direction of the county auditor and must be open to observation 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.

     (3) A random check of the ballot counting equipment may be conducted upon mutual agreement of the political party observers or at the discretion of the county auditor. The random check procedures must be adopted by the county canvassing board prior to the processing of ballots. The random check process shall involve a comparison of a manual count to the machine count and may involve up to either three precincts or six batches depending on the ballot counting procedures in place in the county. The random check will be limited to one office or issue on the ballots in the precincts or batches that are selected for the check. The selection of the precincts or batches to be checked must be selected according to procedures established by the county canvassing board and the check must be completed no later than forty-eight hours after election day.

[2011 c 10 § 55; 2007 c 373 § 3; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     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.




29A.60.180
Credit for voting.

Each registered voter casting a valid ballot will be credited with voting on his or her voter registration record.

[2011 c 10 § 56; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Legislative intent -- Effective date -- 1987 c 346: See notes following RCW 29A.40.010.




29A.60.185
Audit of results.

Prior to certification of the election as required by RCW 29A.60.190, the county auditor shall conduct an audit of results of votes cast on the direct recording electronic voting devices used in the county. This audit must be conducted by randomly selecting by lot up to four percent of the direct recording electronic voting devices or one direct recording electronic voting device, whichever is greater, and, for each device, comparing the results recorded electronically with the results recorded on paper. For purposes of this audit, the results recorded on paper must be tabulated as follows: On one-fourth of the devices selected for audit, the paper records must be tabulated manually; on the remaining devices, the paper records may be tabulated by a mechanical device determined by the secretary of state to be capable of accurately reading the votes cast and printed thereon and qualified for use in the state under applicable state and federal laws. Three races or issues, randomly selected by lot, must be audited on each device. This audit procedure must be subject to observation by political party representatives if representatives have been appointed and are present at the time of the audit.

[2005 c 242 § 5.]




29A.60.190
Certification of election results.

Fourteen days after a primary or special election and twenty-one days after a general election, the county canvassing board shall complete the canvass and certify the results. Each ballot that was returned before 8:00 p.m. on the day of the special election, general election, or primary, and each ballot bearing a postmark on or before the date of the special election, general election, or primary and received no later than the day before certification, must be included in the canvass report.

[2011 c 349 § 21; (2011 c 349 § 20 expired July 1, 2013); 2011 c 10 § 58; (2011 c 10 § 57 expired July 1, 2013); 2006 c 344 § 17; (2006 c 344 § 16 expired July 1, 2013). Prior: 2005 c 243 § 16; (2005 c 153 § 12 expired July 1, 2013); 2004 c 266 § 18; 2003 c 111 § 1519.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2011 c 10 § 58 and by 2011 c 349 § 21, 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).

     Effective date -- 2011 c 349 § 21: "Section 21 of this act takes effect July 1, 2013." [2011 c 349 § 31.]

     Expiration date -- 2011 c 349 § 20: "Section 20 of this act expires July 1, 2013." [2011 c 349 § 32.]

     Effective date -- 2011 c 349: See note following RCW 29A.04.255.

     Effective date -- 2011 c 10 §§ 53 and 58: See note following RCW 29A.60.160.

     Expiration date -- 2011 c 10 §§ 52 and 57: See note following RCW 29A.60.160.

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Effective date -- 2006 c 344 § 17: "Section 17 of this act takes effect July 1, 2013." [2006 c 344 § 43.]

     Expiration date -- 2006 c 344 § 16: "Section 16 of this act expires July 1, 2013." [2006 c 344 § 42.]

     Effective date -- 2006 c 344 §§ 1-16 and 18-40: See note following RCW 29A.04.311.

     Expiration date -- 2005 c 153 §§ 11 and 12: See note following RCW 29A.60.160.

     Effective date -- 2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575.




29A.60.195
Provisional ballots — Disposition.

Before certification of the primary or election, the county auditor must examine and investigate all received provisional ballots to determine whether the ballot can be counted. The auditor shall provide the disposition of the provisional ballot and, if the ballot was not counted, the reason why it was not counted, on a free access system such as a toll-free telephone number, web site, mail, or other means. The auditor must notify the voter in accordance with RCW 29A.60.165 when the declaration is unsigned or when the signatures do not match.

[2011 c 10 § 59; 2005 c 243 § 9.]

Notes:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.




29A.60.200
Canvassing 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 ballots received. 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.

[2011 c 10 § 60; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Intent -- Effective date -- 1990 c 59: See notes following RCW 29A.04.013.




29A.60.210
Recanvass — 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.




29A.60.221
Tie in primary or final election.

(1) If the requisite number of any federal, state, county, city, or district offices have not been nominated in a primary by reason of two or more persons having an equal and requisite number of votes for being placed on the general election ballot, the official empowered by state law to certify candidates for the general election ballot shall give notice to the several persons so having the equal and requisite number of votes to attend at the appropriate office at the time designated by that official, who shall then and there proceed publicly to decide by lot which of those persons will be declared nominated and placed on the general election ballot.

     (2) If the requisite number of any federal, state, county, city, district, or precinct officers have not been elected by reason of two or more persons having an equal and highest number of votes for one and the same office, the official empowered by state law to issue the original certificate of election shall give notice to the several persons so having the highest and equal number of votes to attend at the appropriate office at the time to be appointed by that official, who shall then and there proceed publicly to decide by lot which of those persons will be declared duly elected, and the official shall make out and deliver to the person thus duly declared elected a certificate of election.

[2004 c 271 § 176.]

Notes:

Tie vote for executive branch officer: State Constitution Art. III § 4.



29A.60.230
Abstract by election officer — Transmittal to secretary of state.

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. 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 ballot results would jeopardize the secrecy of a person's ballot. To the extent practicable, precincts for which results are aggregated must be contiguous.

[2011 c 10 § 61; 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:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.

     Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040.




29A.60.235
Reconciliation reports.

The county auditor shall prepare, make publicly available at the auditor's office or on the auditor's web site, and submit at the time of certification an election reconciliation report that discloses the following information:

     (1) The number of registered voters;

     (2) The number of ballots issued;

     (3) The number of ballots received;

     (4) The number of ballots counted;

     (5) The number of ballots rejected;

     (6) The number of provisional ballots issued;

     (7) The number of provisional ballots received;

     (8) The number of provisional ballots counted;

     (9) The number of provisional ballots rejected;

     (10) The number of federal write-in ballots received;

     (11) The number of federal write-in ballots counted;

     (12) The number of federal write-in ballots rejected;

     (13) The number of overseas and service ballots issued;

     (14) The number of overseas and service ballots received;

     (15) The number of overseas and service ballots counted;

     (16) The number of overseas and service ballots rejected;

     (17) The number of voters credited with voting; and

     (18) Any other information the auditor or secretary of state deems necessary to reconcile the number of ballots counted with the number of voters credited with voting.

[2011 c 10 § 62; 2009 c 369 § 41; 2005 c 243 § 11.]

Notes:

     Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.




29A.60.240
Secretary of state — Primary returns — State offices, etc.

The secretary of state shall, as soon as possible but in any event not later than seventeen days following the primary, canvass and certify the returns of all primary elections as to candidates for statewide offices, United States senators and representatives in Congress, and all legislative and judicial candidates whose district extends beyond the limits of a single county.

[2013 c 11 § 64; 2011 c 349 § 22; 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 -- 2011 c 349: See note following RCW 29A.04.255.

     Effective date -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040.




29A.60.250
Secretary 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 statewide offices, the United States senate, congress, and all legislative and judicial 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.

[2013 c 11 § 65; 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.]




29A.60.260
Canvass 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.]




29A.60.270
Local officers, beginning of terms — Organization of district boards of directors.

The term of every city, town, and district officer elected to office on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of the odd-numbered years begins in accordance with *RCW 29A.20.040. However, a person elected to less than a full term shall assume office as soon as the election returns have been certified and he or she is qualified in accordance with RCW 29A.04.133.

     Each board of directors of every district shall be organized at the first meeting held after one or more newly elected directors take office.

[2003 c 111 § 503; 1979 ex.s. c 126 § 14; 1965 c 123 § 6; 1965 c 9 § 29.13.050. Prior: 1963 c 200 § 8; 1959 c 86 § 1; prior: 1951 c 257 § 6. (i) 1949 c 161 § 9; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 5146-1. (ii) 1949 c 163 § 1; 1921 c 61 § 4; Rem. Supp. 1949 § 5146. Formerly RCW 29A.20.030, 29.13.050.]

Notes:

     *Reviser's note: RCW 29A.20.040 was recodified as RCW 29A.60.280 pursuant to 2013 c 11 § 93.

     Purpose -- 1979 ex.s. c 126: See RCW 29A.60.280(1).




29A.60.280
Local elected officials, commencement of term of office — Purpose.

(1) The legislature finds that certain laws are in conflict governing the assumption of office of various local officials. The purpose of this section is to provide a common date for the assumption of office for all the elected officials of counties, cities, towns, and special purpose districts other than school districts where the ownership of property is not a prerequisite of voting. A person elected to the office of school director begins his or her term of office at the first official meeting of the board of directors after certification of the election results. It is also the purpose of this section to remove these conflicts and delete old statutory language concerning such elections which is no longer necessary.

     (2) For elective offices of counties, cities, towns, and special purpose districts other than school districts where the ownership of property is not a prerequisite of voting, the term of incumbents ends and the term of successors begins after the successor is elected and qualified, and the term commences immediately after December 31st following the election, except as follows:

     (a) Where the term of office varies from this standard according to statute; and

     (b) If the election results have not been certified prior to January 1st after the election, in which event the time of commencement for the new term occurs when the successor becomes qualified in accordance with RCW
29A.04.133.

     (3) For elective offices governed by this section, the oath of office must be taken as the last step of qualification as defined in RCW 29A.04.133 but may be taken either:

     (a) Up to ten days prior to the scheduled date of assuming office; or

     (b) At the last regular meeting of the governing body of the applicable county, city, town, or special district held before the winner is to assume office.

[2003 c 111 § 504; 1999 c 298 § 3; 1980 c 35 § 7; 1979 ex.s. c 126 § 1. Formerly RCW 29A.20.040, 29.04.170.]

Notes:

     Severability -- 1980 c 35: See note following RCW 28A.343.300.