2020 Revised Code of Washington
Title 29A - Elections
Chapter 29A.60 - Canvassing.
29A.60.170 List of observers—Counting center, direction and observation of proceedings—Random check of counting equipment—Report.

RCW 29A.60.170 List of observers—Counting center, direction and observation of proceedings—Random check of counting equipment—Report.

(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 must 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, and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 29A.60.185(4), prior to the processing of ballots. The random check process shall involve a comparison of a manual count or electronic count if an audit under RCW 29A.60.185(1)(d) is conducted to the machine count from the original ballot counting equipment 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. The random check procedures must include a process, consistent with RCW 29A.60.185(3) and rules adopted under RCW 29A.60.185(4), for expanding the audit to include additional ballots when a random check conducted under this section results in a discrepancy. The procedure must specify under what circumstances a discrepancy will lead to an audit of additional ballots and the method to determine how many additional ballots will be selected. Procedures adopted under RCW 29A.60.185 pertaining to investigations of any discrepancy found during an audit must be followed. The check must be completed no later than forty-eight hours after election day.

(4)(a) By November 1, 2018, the secretary of state shall:

(i) For each county, survey all random check procedures adopted by the county canvassing board under subsection (3) of this section; and

(ii) Evaluate the procedures to identify the best practices and any discrepancies.

(b) By December 15, 2018, the secretary of state shall submit a report, in compliance with RCW 43.01.036, to the appropriate committees of the legislature that provides recommendations, based on the evaluation performed under (a) of this subsection, for adopting best practices and uniform procedures.

[ 2018 c 218 § 3; 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.]


Intent—2018 c 218: See note following RCW 29A.60.185.

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.

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