Washington Glossary

WAC 434-840-001 Authority and purpose.

These rules are adopted pursuant to RCW 40.24.030 and 40.24.090. The purpose of this chapter is to provide the administrative procedures necessary to implement chapter 40.24 RCW; to provide a procedure for state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the location of a program participant; to provide a procedure to facilitate interagency cooperation in providing address confidentiality for a program participant; to establish uniform statewide procedures for maintaining the confidentiality of a program participant's name and address information in marriage and voting records; and to provide a procedure for state and local agencies to accept a program participant's use of a substitute mailing address.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 40.24.090. WSR 98-19-063, § 434-840-001, filed 9/16/98, effective 10/17/98. Statutory Authority: 1991 c 23. WSR 91-20-074, § 434-840-001, filed 9/26/91, effective 10/27/91.]

WAC 434-840-010 Application process.

(1) The secretary of state shall certify an eligible person as a program participant when the secretary of state receives an application that contains:

(a) The full legal name and date of birth of the applicant(s);

(b) A listing of all minor children residing at the residential address, each minor child's full legal name, and each minor child's date of birth, and each minor child's relationship to the applicant;

(c) A listing of all adults residing at the residential address requesting participation, each adult's full legal name, date of birth, and relationship to the applicant;

(d) The Washington state residential addresses, work, and school addresses, if any, for which confidentiality is requested;

(e) The telephone number of the applicant(s);

(f) The address to which mail should be sent, this may be the same as the residential address;

(g) A sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, by the applicant, that the applicant has good reason to believe either:

(i) That the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, or stalking, and that the applicant fears for their safety or the safety of their children, or the safety of any minor children or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made; or

(ii) That the applicant, as a criminal justice participant as defined in RCW 9A.46.020, is a target for threats or harassment prohibited under RCW 9A.46.020.

(h) The state of Washington personnel number, if the applicant or any of the persons covered by the application is a Washington state employee;

(i) The applicant's signature;

(j) The date on which the applicant signed the application;

(k) The signature, printed name, and phone number of the application assistant designated by the secretary of state under RCW 40.24.080 who assisted in preparation of the application;

(l) A completed checklist of understanding, signed and dated by the applicant designating the secretary of state as legal agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail.

(m) Signed authorization card form for each member of household.

(2) The application must be completed and signed in the presence of an application assistant;

(3) The application assistant shall submit completed applications and any additional materials to the secretary of state using first class mail; and

(4) If the completed application does not meet the requirements of this part, the secretary of state shall contact the applicant to obtain missing information. The applicant shall be certified only if the missing information is provided.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 40.24.090 and 40.24.030. WSR 19-12-002, § 434-840-010, filed 5/22/19, effective 6/22/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 40.24.090. WSR 08-23-094, § 434-840-010, filed 11/19/08, effective 12/20/08; WSR 98-19-063, § 434-840-010, filed 9/16/98, effective 10/17/98. Statutory Authority: 1991 c 23. WSR 91-20-074, § 434-840-010, filed 9/26/91, effective 10/27/91.]

WAC 434-840-310 Protected records voter status.

An address confidentiality program participant who is eligible to vote may register to vote as a protected records voter.

(1) A program participant may apply for protected records voter status by appearing in person before the appropriate county authorized personnel or requesting a protected records voter registration application from the address confidentiality program. In order to register as a protected records voter, the applicant must be an address confidentiality program participant, provide their participant authorization number, and provide all of the information required for voter registration under RCW 29A.08.010 and 29A.08.107.

(2) The program participant shall disclose the actual address of her or his residence on the protected records voter application only for the purpose of determining the proper precinct, and taxing districts.

(3) Upon receipt of a protected records voter application, the county election official must confirm with program staff that the applicant is a program participant and confirm that the information required by RCW 29A.08.010 and 29A.08.107 is included on the form.

(a) If the voter registration applicant is not a program participant, the voter registration application may be processed in the same manner as all voter registration applications.

(b) If the information required by RCW 29A.08.010 and 29A.08.107 is not included, the county election office must seek the missing information, using the address confidentiality program substitute mailing address for communication to the protected records voter applicant.

(4) Upon receipt of a properly filled out form, the county election official shall:

(a) Cancel all previously existing voter registration records for the participant;

(b) Process the application as a protected records voter; and

(c) Provide the registrant with information related to voting participation as a protected records voter.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 40.24.090 and 40.24.030. WSR 19-12-002, § 434-840-310, filed 5/22/19, effective 6/22/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 40.24.090. WSR 08-23-094, § 434-840-310, filed 11/19/08, effective 12/20/08; WSR 05-13-059, § 434-840-310, filed 6/9/05, effective 7/10/05; WSR 98-19-063, § 434-840-310, filed 9/16/98, effective 10/17/98. Statutory Authority: 1991 c 23. WSR 91-20-074, § 434-840-310, filed 9/26/91, effective 10/27/91.]

WAC 434-230-015 Ballots and instructions.

(1) Each ballot shall specify the county, the date, and whether the election is a primary, special or general.

(2) Each ballot must include instructions directing the voter how to mark the ballot, including write-in votes if candidate races appear on the ballot.

(3) Instructions that accompany a ballot must:

(a) Instruct the voter how to cancel a vote by drawing a line through the text of the candidate's name or ballot measure response;

(b) Notify the voter that, unless specifically allowed by law, more than one vote for an office or ballot measure will be an overvote and no votes for that office or ballot measure will be counted;

(c) Explain how to complete and sign the ballot declaration. The following declaration must accompany the ballot:

"I do solemnly swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that I am:

A United States citizen;

A Washington state resident that meets the requirements for voting mandated by state law;

At least 18 years old on election day, or 17 years old at the primary and 18 years old by the day of the November general election;

Voting only once in this election and not voting in any other United States jurisdiction;

Not serving a sentence of total confinement under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections for a Washington felony conviction or currently incarcerated for a federal or out-of-state felony conviction;

Not disqualified from voting due to a court order; and

Aware it is illegal to forge a signature or cast another person's ballot and that attempting to vote when not qualified, attempting to vote more than once, or falsely signing this declaration is a felony punishable by a maximum imprisonment of five years, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both."

The declaration must include space for the voter to sign and date the declaration, for the voter to write his or her phone number, and for two witnesses to sign if the voter is unable to sign.

(d) Explain how the voter may make a mark, witnessed by two other people, if the voter is unable to write their signature;

(e) Explain that a power of attorney cannot be used to sign a ballot for someone else;

(f) Explain how to place the ballot in the security envelope/sleeve and place the security envelope/sleeve in the return envelope;

(g) Explain how to obtain a replacement ballot if the original ballot is destroyed, spoiled, or lost;

(h) Explain how the voter may update their address;

(i) If applicable, include language with the reissued ballot notifying the voter that the reissued ballot is their current ballot;

(j) If applicable, explain that postage is required, or exactly how much postage is required. See WAC 434-250-200 on return postage;

(k) Explain that, in order for the ballot to be counted, it must be either postmarked no later than election day or deposited at a ballot drop box no later than 8:00 p.m. election day;

(l) Explain how to learn about the locations, hours, and services of voting centers and ballot drop boxes, including the availability of accessible voting equipment;

(m) Include, for a primary election that includes a partisan office other than a presidential primary race, a notice on an insert explaining:

"In each race, you may vote for any one candidate listed. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will advance to the general election.

Each candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers. A candidate's preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate."

(n)(i) Include, for a general election that includes a partisan office, the following explanation:

"If a primary election was held for an office, the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary advanced to the general election.

Each candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers. A candidate's preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate."

(ii) In a year that president and vice president appear on the general election ballot, the following must be added to the statement required by (n)(i) of this subsection:

"The election for president and vice president is different. Candidates for president and vice president are the official nominees of their political party."

(4) Instructions that accompany a special absentee ballot authorized by RCW 29A.40.050 must also explain that the voter may request and subsequently vote a regular ballot, and that if the regular ballot is received by the county auditor, the regular ballot will be tabulated and the special absentee ballot will be voided.

(5) Each ballot must explain, either in the general instructions or in the heading of each race, the number of candidates for whom the voter may vote (e.g., "vote for one").

(6)(a) If the ballot includes a partisan office other than a presidential primary race, the ballot must include the following notice in bold print immediately above the first partisan congressional, state or county office: "READ: Each candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers. A candidate's preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate."

(b) When the race for president and vice president appears on a general election ballot, instead of the notice required by (a) of this subsection, the ballot must include the following notice in bold print after president and vice president but immediately above the first partisan congressional, state or county office: "READ: Each candidate for president and vice president is the official nominee of a political party. For other partisan offices, each candidate may state a political party that he or she prefers. A candidate's preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate."

(c) The same notice may also be listed in the ballot instructions.

(7) Counties may use varying sizes and colors of ballots, provided such size and color is used consistently throughout a region, area or jurisdiction (e.g., legislative district, commissioner district, school district, etc.). Varying color and size may also be used to designate various types of ballots.

(8) Ballots shall be formatted as provided in RCW 29A.36.170.

(9) Removable stubs are not considered part of the ballot.

(10) If ballots are printed with sequential numbers or other sequential identifiers, the county auditor must take steps to prevent ballots from being issued sequentially, in order to protect secrecy of the ballot.

Counties may use ballot envelopes with the previous declaration through December 2021.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 21-21-001, § 434-230-015, filed 10/6/21, effective 11/6/21; WSR 19-12-115, § 434-230-015, filed 6/5/19, effective 7/6/19; WSR 18-24-007, § 434-230-015, filed 11/26/18, effective 12/27/18; WSR 18-10-003, § 434-230-015, filed 4/19/18, effective 5/20/18; WSR 17-12-090, § 434-230-015, filed 6/6/17, effective 7/7/17; WSR 15-24-001, § 434-230-015, filed 11/18/15, effective 12/19/15; WSR 14-06-040, § 434-230-015, filed 2/26/14, effective 3/29/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-230-015, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 09-18-098, § 434-230-015, filed 9/1/09, effective 10/2/09; WSR 08-15-052, § 434-230-015, filed 7/11/08, effective 8/11/08.]

RCW 29A.08.510 Death.

The registrations of deceased voters may be canceled from voter registration lists as follows:

(1) Periodically, the registrar of vital statistics of the state shall prepare a list of persons who resided in each county, for whom a death certificate was transmitted to the registrar and was not included on a previous list, and shall supply the list to the secretary of state.

The secretary of state shall compare this list with the registration records and cancel the registrations of deceased voters.

(2) In addition, each county auditor may also use government agencies and newspaper obituary articles as a source of information for identifying deceased voters and canceling a registration. The auditor must verify the identity of the voter by matching the voter's date of birth or an address. The auditor shall record the date and source of the information in the cancellation records.

(3) In addition, any registered voter may sign a statement, subject to the penalties of perjury, to the effect that to his or her personal knowledge or belief another registered voter is deceased. This statement may be filed with the county auditor or the secretary of state. Upon the receipt of such signed statement, the county auditor or the secretary of state shall cancel the registration from the official state voter registration list.

[ 2009 c 369 § 26; 2004 c 267 § 124; 2003 c 111 § 232; 1999 c 100 § 1; 1994 c 57 § 41; 1983 c 110 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 29; 1965 c 9 § 29.10.090. Prior: 1961 c 32 § 1; 1933 c 1 § 20; RRS § 5114-20. Formerly RCW 29.10.090.]

RCW 29A.08.515 Incapacitation, guardianship. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

Upon receiving official notice that a court has imposed a guardianship for an incapacitated person and has determined that the person is incompetent for the purpose of rationally exercising the right to vote, under *chapter 11.88 RCW, if the incapacitated person is a registered voter in the county, the county auditor shall cancel the incapacitated person's voter registration.

[ 2004 c 267 § 125.]

RCW 29A.08.515 Guardianship. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

Upon receiving official notice that a court has imposed a guardianship for a person under RCW 11.130.265 and has determined that the person is incompetent for the purpose of rationally exercising the right to vote, if the person subject to guardianship is a registered voter in the county, the county auditor shall cancel that person's voter registration.

[ 2020 c 312 § 728; 2004 c 267 § 125.]

RCW 29A.08.520 Felony conviction—Provisional and permanent restoration of voting rights. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

(1) For a felony conviction in a Washington state court, the right to vote is provisionally restored as long as the person is not under the authority of the department of corrections. For a felony conviction in a federal court or any state court other than a Washington state court, the right to vote is restored as long as the person is no longer incarcerated.

(2)(a) Once the right to vote has been provisionally restored, the sentencing court may revoke the provisional restoration of voting rights if the sentencing court determines that a person has willfully failed to comply with the terms of his or her order to pay legal financial obligations.

(b) If the person has failed to make three payments in a twelve-month period and the county clerk or restitution recipient requests, the prosecutor shall seek revocation of the provisional restoration of voting rights from the court.

(c) To the extent practicable, the prosecutor and county clerk shall inform a restitution recipient of the recipient's right to ask for the revocation of the provisional restoration of voting rights.

(3) If the court revokes the provisional restoration of voting rights, the revocation shall remain in effect until, upon motion by the person whose provisional voting rights have been revoked, the person shows that he or she has made a good faith effort to pay as defined in RCW 10.82.090.

(4) The county clerk shall enter into a database maintained by the administrator for the courts the names of all persons whose provisional voting rights have been revoked, and update the database for any person whose voting rights have subsequently been restored pursuant to subsection (6) of this section.

(5) At least twice a year, the secretary of state shall compare the list of registered voters to a list of felons who are not eligible to vote as provided in subsections (1) and (3) of this section. If a registered voter is not eligible to vote as provided in this section, the secretary of state or county auditor shall confirm the match through a date of birth comparison and suspend the voter registration from the official state voter registration list. The secretary of state or county auditor shall send to the person at his or her last known voter registration address and at the department of corrections, if the person is under the authority of the department, a notice of the proposed cancellation and an explanation of the requirements for provisionally and permanently restoring the right to vote and reregistering. To the extent possible, the secretary of state shall time the comparison required by this subsection to allow notice and cancellation of voting rights for ineligible voters prior to a primary or general election.

(6) The right to vote may be permanently restored by one of the following for each felony conviction:

(a) A certificate of discharge issued by the sentencing court, as provided in RCW 9.94A.637;

(b) A court order restoring the right, as provided in RCW 9.92.066;

(c) A final order of discharge issued by the indeterminate sentence review board, as provided in RCW 9.96.050; or

(d) A certificate of restoration issued by the governor, as provided in RCW 9.96.020.

(7) For the purposes of this section, a person is under the authority of the department of corrections if the person is:

(a) Serving a sentence of confinement in the custody of the department of corrections; or

(b) Subject to community custody as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.

[ 2013 c 11 § 19. Prior: (2009 c 369 § 27 repealed by 2013 c 11 § 95); 2009 c 325 § 1; 2005 c 246 § 15; 2004 c 267 § 126; 2003 c 111 § 233; prior: 1994 c 57 § 42. Formerly RCW 29.10.097.]

RCW 29A.08.520 Felony conviction—Restoration of voting rights. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

(1) For a felony conviction in a Washington state court, the right to vote is automatically restored as long as the person is not serving a sentence of total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections. For a felony conviction in a federal court or any state court other than a Washington state court, the right to vote is automatically restored as long as the person is no longer incarcerated. A person who has been convicted of a felony and is either sentenced to a term of total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections or otherwise incarcerated as provided for in this subsection must reregister to vote prior to voting.

(2) At least once a month, the secretary of state shall compare the list of registered voters to a list of persons who are not eligible to vote as provided in subsection (1) of this section. If a registered voter is not eligible to vote as provided in this section, the secretary of state or county auditor shall confirm the match through a date of birth comparison and suspend the voter registration from the official state voter registration list. The secretary of state or county auditor shall send to the person at his or her last known voter registration address and at the department of corrections, if the person is serving a sentence of total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department, a notice of the proposed cancellation and an explanation of the requirements for restoring the right to vote and reregistering. To the extent possible, the secretary of state shall time the comparison required by this subsection to allow notice and cancellation of voting rights for ineligible voters prior to a primary or general election.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a sentence of total confinement does not include confinement imposed as a sanction for a community custody violation under RCW 9.94A.633(1).

[ 2021 c 10 § 1; 2013 c 11 § 19. Prior: (2009 c 369 § 27 repealed by 2013 c 11 § 95); 2009 c 325 § 1; 2005 c 246 § 15; 2004 c 267 § 126; 2003 c 111 § 233; prior: 1994 c 57 § 42. Formerly RCW 29.10.097.]

RCW 29A.08.540 Records preservation.

Registration records of persons whose voter registrations have been canceled as authorized under this title must be preserved in the manner prescribed by rule by the secretary of state. Information from such canceled registration records is available for public inspection and copying to the same extent established by RCW 29A.08.710 for other voter registration information.

[ 2004 c 267 § 127; 2003 c 111 § 235. Prior: 1991 c 81 § 26; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 32; 1965 ex.s. c 156 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.10.110; prior: 1961 c 32 § 2; 1947 c 85 § 5; 1933 c 1 § 21; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 5114-21. Formerly RCW 29.10.110.]

RCW 29A.60.190 Certification of election results.

Ten days after a special election held in February or April, ten days after a presidential primary held pursuant to chapter 29A.56 RCW, fourteen days after a primary, or 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, primary, or presidential primary, and each ballot bearing a postmark on or before the date of the special election, general election, primary, or presidential primary and received no later than the day before certification, must be included in the canvass report.

[ 2019 c 7 § 5; 2015 c 146 § 4. Prior: 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.]

RCW 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.]

RCW 29A.52.161 One vote.

Nothing in this chapter may be construed to mean that a voter may cast more than one vote for candidates for a given office.

[ 2004 c 271 § 144.]

RCW 29A.08.720 Registration, voting records—As public records—Information furnished—Restrictions, confidentiality.

(1) In the case of voter registration records received through the health benefit exchange, the department of licensing, or an agency designated under RCW 29A.08.310, the identity of the office or agency at which any particular individual registered to vote must be used only for voter registration purposes, is not available for public inspection, and shall not be disclosed to the public. Any record of a particular individual's choice not to register to vote at an office of the department of licensing or a state agency designated under RCW 29A.08.310 is not available for public inspection and any information regarding such a choice by a particular individual shall not be disclosed to the public. Information that is otherwise disclosable under this chapter cannot be disclosed on the future voter until the person reaches eighteen years of age, except for the purpose of processing and delivering ballots.

(2)(a) Subject to the restrictions of RCW 29A.08.710 and 40.24.060, and (b) of this subsection, precinct lists and current lists of registered voters are public records and must be made available for public inspection and copying under such reasonable rules and regulations as the county auditor or secretary of state may prescribe. The county auditor or secretary of state shall promptly furnish current lists of registered voters in his or her possession, at actual reproduction cost, to any person requesting such information. The lists shall not be used for the purpose of mailing or delivering any advertisement or offer for any property, establishment, organization, product, or service or for the purpose of mailing or delivering any solicitation for money, services, or anything of value. However, the lists and labels may be used for any political purpose. The county auditor or secretary of state must provide a copy of RCW 29A.08.740 to the person requesting the material that is released under this section.

(b) The personally identifiable information of individuals who are under the age of eighteen are exempt from public inspection and copying until the subject of the record is eighteen years of age, except for the purpose of processing and delivering ballots.

(3) For the purposes of this section, "political purpose" means a purpose concerned with the support of or opposition to any candidate for any partisan or nonpartisan office or concerned with the support of or opposition to any ballot proposition or issue. "Political purpose" includes, but is not limited to, such activities as the advertising for or against any candidate or ballot measure or the solicitation of financial support.

[ 2018 c 110 § 206; 2018 c 109 § 11; 2011 c 10 § 18; 2009 c 369 § 34; 2005 c 246 § 18; 2004 c 266 § 9; 2003 c 111 § 247; 1994 c 57 § 5; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 46 § 1; 1974 ex.s. c 127 § 2; 1973 1st ex.s. c 111 § 2; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 3; 1965 ex.s. c 156 § 6. Formerly RCW 29.04.100.]

RCW 29A.08.359 Automatic registration—Enhanced driver's licenses and identicards—Procedure—Auditor duties—Confidentiality. (Effective until September 1, 2023.)

(1)(a) For persons age eighteen years and older registering under RCW 29A.08.355, an application is considered complete only if it contains the information required by RCW 29A.08.010 and other information as required by the secretary of state. The applicant is considered to be registered to vote as of the original date of issuance or renewal or date of change of address of an enhanced driver's license or identicard issued under RCW 46.20.202 or change of address for an existing enhanced driver's license or identicard pursuant to RCW 46.20.205. The information must be transmitted in an expedited manner and must be received by an election official by the required voter registration deadline. The auditor shall record the appropriate precinct identification, taxing district identification, and date of registration on the voter's record in the state voter registration list. Any mailing address provided shall be used only for mail delivery purposes, and not for precinct assignment or residency purposes. Within sixty days after the receipt of an application or transfer, the auditor shall send to the applicant, by first-class nonforwardable mail, an acknowledgment notice identifying the registrant's precinct and containing such other information as may be required by the secretary of state. The United States postal service shall be instructed not to forward a voter registration card to any other address and to return to the auditor any card which is not deliverable.

(b) An auditor may use other means to communicate with potential and registered voters such as, but not limited to, email, phone, or text messaging. The alternate form of communication must not be in lieu of the first-class mail requirements. The auditor shall act in compliance with all voter notification processes established in federal law.

(2) If an application is not complete, the auditor shall promptly mail a verification notice to the applicant. The verification notice must require the applicant to provide the missing information. If the applicant provides the required information within forty-five days, the applicant must be registered to vote. The applicant must not be placed on the official list of registered voters until the application is complete.

(3) If the prospective registration applicant declines to register to vote or the information provided by the department of licensing does not indicate citizenship, the information must not be included on the list of registered voters.

(4) The department of licensing is prohibited from sharing data files used by the secretary of state to certify voters registered through the automated process outlined in RCW 29A.08.355 with any federal agency, or state agency other than the secretary of state. Personal information supplied for the purposes of obtaining a driver's license or identicard is exempt from public inspection pursuant to RCW 42.56.230.

[ 2019 c 391 § 8; 2018 c 110 § 104.]

RCW 29A.08.359 Automatic registration—Enhanced driver's licenses and identicards—Procedure—Auditor duties—Confidentiality. (Effective September 1, 2023.)

(1)(a) For persons age eighteen years and older registering under RCW 29A.08.355(1), an application is considered complete only if it contains the information required by RCW 29A.08.010 and other information as required by the secretary of state. The applicant is considered to be registered to vote as of the original date of issuance or renewal or date of change of address of an enhanced driver's license or identicard issued under RCW 46.20.202 or change of address for an existing enhanced driver's license or identicard pursuant to RCW 46.20.205.

(b) For persons sixteen or seventeen years of age registering under RCW 29A.08.355(2), an application is considered complete only if it contains the information required by RCW 29A.08.010 and other information as required by the secretary of state. The applicant is considered to be registered to vote as of the date set forth in RCW 29A.08.110(1).

(c) The information must be transmitted in an expedited manner and must be received by an election official by the required voter registration deadline. The auditor shall record the appropriate precinct identification, taxing district identification, and date of registration on the voter's record in the state voter registration list. Any mailing address provided shall be used only for mail delivery purposes, and not for precinct assignment or residency purposes. Within sixty days after the receipt of an application or transfer, the auditor shall send to the applicant, by first-class nonforwardable mail, an acknowledgment notice identifying the registrant's precinct and containing such other information as may be required by the secretary of state. The United States postal service shall be instructed not to forward a voter registration card to any other address and to return to the auditor any card which is not deliverable.

(d) An auditor may use other means to communicate with potential and registered voters such as, but not limited to, email, phone, or text messaging. The alternate form of communication must not be in lieu of the first-class mail requirements. The auditor shall act in compliance with all voter notification processes established in federal law.

(2) If an application is not complete, the auditor shall promptly mail a verification notice to the applicant. The verification notice must require the applicant to provide the missing information. If the applicant provides the required information within forty-five days, the applicant must be registered to vote. The applicant must not be placed on the official list of registered voters until the application is complete.

(3) If the prospective registration applicant declines to register to vote or the information provided by the department of licensing does not indicate citizenship, the information must not be included on the list of registered voters.

(4) The department of licensing is prohibited from sharing data files used by the secretary of state to certify voters registered through the automated process outlined in RCW 29A.08.355 with any federal agency, or state agency other than the secretary of state. Personal information supplied for the purposes of obtaining a driver's license or identicard is exempt from public inspection pursuant to RCW 42.56.230.

[ 2020 c 208 § 18; 2019 c 391 § 8; 2018 c 110 § 104.] 

 WAC 434-235-020 Voter registration.

(1) A service or overseas voter may register to vote by providing:

(a) A voter registration application issued by the state of Washington;

(b) A federal post card application issued by the federal voting assistance program;

(c) A federal write-in absentee ballot issued by the federal voting assistance program;

(d) A national mail voter registration form issued by the election assistance commission; or

(e) A ballot with a valid signature on the ballot declaration.

(2) Pursuant to RCW 29A.40.010 and 29A.40.091, a service or overseas voter does not have to be registered in order to request a ballot. Consequently, a service or overseas voter who is not already registered in Washington may request a ballot and register after the registration deadlines of RCW 29A.08.140 have passed. A service or overseas voter who is already registered to vote in Washington may not transfer or update a registration after the deadlines in RCW 29A.08.140 have passed.

(a) If the voter is not currently registered, the county auditor must register the voter immediately. The voter must be flagged in the voter registration system as a service or overseas voter.

(b) A service or overseas voter must use his or her most recent residential address in Washington, or the most recent residential address in Washington of a family member.

(c) If the county auditor is unable to precinct the voter due to a missing or incomplete residential address on the application, the county auditor must attempt to contact the voter to clarify the application.

(i) If, in the judgment of the county auditor, there is insufficient time to correct the application before the next election or primary, the county auditor must issue the ballot as if the voter had listed the county auditor's office as his or her residence. A special precinct for this purpose may be created. The only offices and issues that may be tabulated are those common to the entire county and congressional races based on the precinct encompassing the auditor's office.

(ii) After the election or primary, the county auditor must place the voter on inactive status and send the voter a confirmation notice to obtain the voter's correct residential address.

(d) A service or overseas voter is not required to provide a driver's license number, Social Security number or other form of identification as required by RCW 29A.08.107.

(3) The county auditor must offer a service or overseas voter the option of receiving blank ballots by email or postal mail. This requirement is satisfied if the service or overseas voter registers on an application that offers electronic ballot delivery as an option, or if the voter expresses a preference when registering, updating a registration, or requesting a ballot. The county auditor must attempt to contact the voter by phone, email, postal mail, or other means. If the voter does not indicate a preference or does not respond, the county auditor must send ballots by postal mail.

(4) The county auditor shall keep the voter on service or overseas status until the county auditor receives verification the voter no longer qualifies as a service or overseas voter under WAC 434-235-010.

(5) Status as a service or overseas voter is voter registration information and may only be disclosed if listed as public information in RCW 29A.08.710.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.24.091, 29A.24.311, 29A.60.021, 29A.60.185, 29A.60.170, 29A.60.110, and 29A.60.235. WSR 19-01-102, § 434-235-020, filed 12/18/18, effective 1/18/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 14-06-040, § 434-235-020, filed 2/26/14, effective 3/29/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-235-020, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.255. WSR 11-05-008, § 434-235-020, filed 2/3/11, effective 3/6/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 09-18-098, § 434-235-020, filed 9/1/09, effective 10/2/09; WSR 07-20-074, § 434-235-020, filed 10/1/07, effective 11/1/07.]

WAC 434-235-030 Voting.

(1) A service or overseas voter may request or return a ballot by:

(a) Any manner authorized by WAC 434-250-030;

(b) A federal post card application issued by the federal voting assistance program; or

(c) A federal write-in absentee ballot issued by the federal voting assistance program.

(2) The county auditor must issue a ballot by mail, email, or fax if specifically requested by the voter. A ballot does not have to be mailed if it is emailed or faxed to the voter. If an email is returned as undeliverable and the voter has not provided an alternate email address, then the ballot must be sent by postal mail.

(3) Ballot materials must include the mailing address, phone number, fax number, email address, and web site of the county auditor's office to enable a voter to contact the elections office for additional information about the election. Ballot materials must include instructions on how to return the ballot by fax, email, or postal mail, including how to include the ballot privacy sheet between the declaration page and the ballot. Ballot materials must include instructions on how to confirm that the voted ballot has been received by the elections office, in a format that the voter can keep after the voted ballot has been returned.

(4) If the county auditor is unable to issue a ballot due to insufficient information, the county auditor must attempt to contact the voter, consistent with WAC 434-235-020, to clarify the request. If the county auditor is unable to obtain sufficient information, other than residential address, to issue the ballot, the county auditor must attempt to notify the voter of the reason that the ballot was not issued.

(5) Pursuant to RCW 29A.40.091, return envelopes must be printed to indicate that they may be returned postage-free.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 14-06-040, § 434-235-030, filed 2/26/14, effective 3/29/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-235-030, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.255. WSR 11-05-008, § 434-235-030, filed 2/3/11, effective 3/6/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 09-18-098, § 434-235-030, filed 9/1/09, effective 10/2/09; WSR 07-20-074, § 434-235-030, filed 10/1/07, effective 11/1/07.]

WAC 434-235-040 Processing ballots.

(1) Any abbreviation, misspelling, or other minor variation in the form of the name of a candidate or a political party shall be disregarded in determining the validity of a federal write-in absentee ballot or a special absentee ballot if the intention of the voter can be ascertained.

(2) For service and overseas voters, the date on the ballot declaration associated with the voter's signature determines the validity of the ballot. The signature on the ballot declaration must be dated no later than election day.

(3) Voted ballots returned by fax or email must be received no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day.

(4) The county auditor must provide statistics on voting by service and overseas voters in the certification report required by RCW 29A.60.235 and in response to requests by the federal election assistance commission.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 14-06-040, § 434-235-040, filed 2/26/14, effective 3/29/14. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-235-040, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.255. WSR 11-05-008, § 434-235-040, filed 2/3/11, effective 3/6/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 07-20-074, § 434-235-040, filed 10/1/07, effective 11/1/07.]

RCW 29A.40.020 Request for ballot from an overseas voter or service voter.

(1) A request for a ballot from an overseas voter or service voter must include the address of the last residence in the state of Washington.

(2) No person, organization, or association may distribute any ballot materials that contain a return address other than that of the appropriate county auditor.

[ 2011 c 10 § 36; 2009 c 369 § 37; 2003 c 111 § 1002; 2001 c 241 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.36.220.]

RCW 29A.40.091 Envelopes, declaration, and instructions—Voter's oath—Overseas and service voters—Return of ballots—County auditor's name. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

(1) The county auditor shall send each voter a ballot, a security envelope in which to conceal the ballot after voting, a larger envelope in which to return the security envelope, a declaration that the voter must sign, and instructions on how to obtain information about the election, how to mark the ballot, and how to return the ballot to the county auditor. The calendar date of the election must be prominently displayed in bold type, twenty-point font or larger, on the envelope sent to the voter containing the ballot and other materials listed in this subsection:

(a) For all general elections in 2020 and after;

(b) For all primary elections in 2021 and after; and

(c) For all elections in 2022 and after.

(2) The voter must swear under penalty of perjury that he or she meets the qualifications to vote, and has not voted in any other jurisdiction at this election. The declaration must clearly inform the voter that it is illegal to vote if he or she is not a United States citizen; it is illegal to vote if he or she has been convicted of a felony and has not had his or her voting rights restored; and it is illegal to cast a ballot or sign a ballot declaration on behalf of another voter. The ballot materials must provide space for the voter to sign the declaration, indicate the date on which the ballot was voted, and include a telephone number.

(3) For overseas and service voters, the signed declaration constitutes the equivalent of a voter registration. Return envelopes for overseas and service voters must enable the ballot to be returned postage free if mailed through the United States postal service, United States armed forces postal service, or the postal service of a United States foreign embassy under 39 U.S.C. 3406.

(4) The voter must be instructed to either return the ballot to the county auditor no later than 8:00 p.m. the day of the election or primary, or mail the ballot to the county auditor with a postmark no later than the day of the election or primary. Return envelopes for all election ballots must include prepaid postage. Service and overseas voters must be provided with instructions and a privacy sheet for returning the ballot and signed declaration by fax or email. A voted ballot and signed declaration returned by fax or email must be received by 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election or primary.

(5) The county auditor's name may not appear on the security envelope, the return envelope, or on any voting instructions or materials included with the ballot if he or she is a candidate for office during the same year.

(6) For purposes of this section, "prepaid postage" means any method of return postage paid by the county or state.

[ 2020 c 12 § 1; 2019 c 161 § 3; 2016 c 83 § 3; 2013 c 11 § 49. Prior: 2011 c 349 § 17; 2011 c 348 § 3; 2011 c 182 § 1; 2011 c 10 § 39; 2010 c 125 § 1; 2009 c 369 § 39; 2005 c 246 § 21; 2004 c 271 § 135.]

RCW 29A.40.091 Envelopes, declaration, and instructions—Voter's oath—Overseas and service voters—Return of ballots—County auditor's name. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

(1) The county auditor shall send each voter a ballot, a security envelope in which to conceal the ballot after voting, a larger envelope in which to return the security envelope, a declaration that the voter must sign, and instructions on how to obtain information about the election, how to mark the ballot, and how to return the ballot to the county auditor. The calendar date of the election must be prominently displayed in bold type, twenty-point font or larger, on the envelope sent to the voter containing the ballot and other materials listed in this subsection:

(a) For all general elections in 2020 and after;

(b) For all primary elections in 2021 and after; and

(c) For all elections in 2022 and after.

(2) The voter must swear under penalty of perjury that he or she meets the qualifications to vote, and has not voted in any other jurisdiction at this election. The declaration must clearly inform the voter that it is illegal to vote if he or she is not a United States citizen; it is illegal to vote if he or she is serving a sentence of total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections for a felony conviction or is currently incarcerated for a federal or out-of-state felony conviction; and it is illegal to cast a ballot or sign a ballot declaration on behalf of another voter. The ballot materials must provide space for the voter to sign the declaration, indicate the date on which the ballot was voted, and include a telephone number.

(3) For overseas and service voters, the signed declaration constitutes the equivalent of a voter registration. Return envelopes for overseas and service voters must enable the ballot to be returned postage free if mailed through the United States postal service, United States armed forces postal service, or the postal service of a United States foreign embassy under 39 U.S.C. 3406.

(4) The voter must be instructed to either return the ballot to the county auditor no later than 8:00 p.m. the day of the election or primary, or mail the ballot to the county auditor with a postmark no later than the day of the election or primary. Return envelopes for all election ballots must include prepaid postage. Service and overseas voters must be provided with instructions and a privacy sheet for returning the ballot and signed declaration by fax or email. A voted ballot and signed declaration returned by fax or email must be received by 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election or primary.

(5) The county auditor's name may not appear on the security envelope, the return envelope, or on any voting instructions or materials included with the ballot if he or she is a candidate for office during the same year.

(6) For purposes of this section, "prepaid postage" means any method of return postage paid by the county or state.

[ 2021 c 10 § 3; 2020 c 12 § 1; 2019 c 161 § 3; 2016 c 83 § 3; 2013 c 11 § 49. Prior: 2011 c 349 § 17; 2011 c 348 § 3; 2011 c 182 § 1; 2011 c 10 § 39; 2010 c 125 § 1; 2009 c 369 § 39; 2005 c 246 § 21; 2004 c 271 § 135.]

RCW 29A.52.355 Notice of election—Prior to mail-in registration deadline.

(1) Notice for any state, county, district, or municipal primary or election, whether special or general, must be given by the county auditor between five and fifteen days prior to the deadline for mail-in registrations. The notice must be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation and must contain, at a minimum, the last date to register online or through the mail, the last date to transfer or update an existing registration, the last date to register in person for first-time voters, information on where a person can register, the type of election, the date of the election, how a voter can obtain a ballot, a list of all jurisdictions involved in the election, including positions and short titles for ballot measures appearing on the ballot, and the times and dates of any public meetings associated with the election. The notice shall also include where additional information regarding the election may be obtained. The notice of a primary held in an even-numbered year must indicate that the office of precinct committee officer is on the ballot. This is the only notice required for a state, county, district, or municipal primary or special or general election.

(2) If the county or city chooses to mail a local voters' pamphlet as described in RCW 29A.32.210 to each residence, the notice required in this section need only include the last date to register online or through the mail, the last date to transfer or update an existing registration, the last date to register in person for first-time voters, information on where a person can register, and the times and dates of any public meetings associated with the election.

[ 2013 c 11 § 53; 2011 c 10 § 45.]

RCW 29A.84.140 Unqualified registration. (Effective until September 1, 2023.)

A person who knows that he or she does not possess the legal qualifications of a voter and who registers to vote is guilty of a class C felony. This section does not apply to persons age sixteen or seventeen signing up to register to vote as authorized under RCW 29A.08.170.

[ 2018 c 109 § 13; 2005 c 246 § 22; 2003 c 111 § 2108. Prior: 2001 c 41 § 13. Formerly RCW 29.85.249.]

RCW 29A.84.140 Unqualified registration. (Effective until September 1, 2023.)

A person who knows that he or she does not possess the legal qualifications of a voter and who registers to vote is guilty of a class C felony. This section does not apply to persons age sixteen or seventeen signing up to register to vote as authorized under RCW 29A.08.170.

[ 2018 c 109 § 13; 2005 c 246 § 22; 2003 c 111 § 2108. Prior: 2001 c 41 § 13. Formerly RCW 29.85.249.]

RCW 29A.84.660 Unqualified persons voting.

Any person who knows that he or she does not possess the legal qualifications of a voter and who votes at any primary or special or general election authorized by law to be held in this state for any office whatever is guilty of a class C felony punishable under RCW 9A.20.021.

[ 2003 c 111 § 2133; 1991 c 81 § 17; 1965 c 9 § 29.85.240. Prior: 1911 c 89 § 1, part; Code 1881 § 905; 1873 p 204 § 104; 1865 p 51 § 4; 1854 p 93 § 95; RRS § 5384. Formerly RCW 29.85.240.]

RCW 29A.08.010 Minimum information required for voter registration. 

(1) The minimum information provided on a voter registration application that is required in order to place a voter registration applicant on the voter registration rolls includes:

(a) Name;

(b) Residential address;

(c) Date of birth;

(d) A signature attesting to the truth of the information provided on the application; and

(e) A check or indication in the box confirming the individual is a United States citizen.

(2) The residential address provided must identify the actual physical residence of the voter in Washington, as defined in RCW 29A.04.151, with detail sufficient to allow the voter to be assigned to the proper precinct and to locate the voter to confirm his or her residence for purposes of verifying qualification to vote under Article VI, section 1 of the state Constitution. A residential address may be either a traditional address or a nontraditional address. A traditional address consists of a street number and name, optional apartment number or unit number, and city or town, as assigned by a local government, which serves to identify the parcel or building of residence and the unit if a multiunit residence. A nontraditional address consists of a narrative description of the location of the voter's residence, and may be used when a traditional address has not been assigned or affixed to the voter's residence or when a voter resides on an Indian reservation or Indian lands, pursuant to the conditions in RCW 29A.08.112.

(3) All other information supplied is ancillary and not to be used as grounds for not registering an applicant to vote.

(4) Modification of the language of the official Washington state voter registration form by the voter will not be accepted and will cause the rejection of the registrant's application.

[ 2019 c 6 § 1; 2009 c 369 § 6; 2006 c 320 § 2; 2005 c 246 § 2; 2004 c 267 § 102; 2003 c 111 § 201; 1994 c 57 § 9. Formerly RCW 29.07.005.]

RCW 29A.08.030 Notices, various.

The definitions set forth in this section apply throughout this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

(1) "Verification notice" means a notice sent by the county auditor or secretary of state to a voter registration applicant and is used to verify or collect information about the applicant in order to complete the registration. The verification notice must be designed to include a postage prepaid, preaddressed return form by which the applicant may verify or send information.

(2) "Acknowledgment notice" means a notice sent by nonforwardable mail by the county auditor or secretary of state to a registered voter to acknowledge a voter registration transaction, which can include initial registration, transfer, or reactivation of an inactive registration. An acknowledgment notice may be a voter registration card.

(3) "Identification notice" means a notice sent to a provisionally registered voter to confirm the applicant's identity.

(4) "Confirmation notice" means a notice sent to a registered voter by first-class forwardable mail at the address indicated on the voter's permanent registration record and to any other address at which the county auditor or secretary of state could reasonably expect mail to be received by the voter in order to confirm the voter's residence address. The confirmation notice must be designed to include a postage prepaid, preaddressed return form by which the registrant may verify the address information.

[ 2009 c 369 § 7; 2005 c 246 § 3; 2004 c 267 § 104; 2003 c 111 § 203. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 33. Formerly RCW 29.10.011.]

RCW 29A.08.107 Applicant information for registration—Provisional registration—Exception.

(1) If the driver's license number, state identification card number, or last four digits of the social security number provided by the applicant match the information maintained by the Washington department of licensing or the social security administration, and the applicant provided all information required by RCW 29A.08.010, the applicant must be registered to vote.

(2) If the driver's license number, state identification card number, or last four digits of the social security number provided by the applicant do not match the information maintained by the Washington department of licensing or the social security administration, or if the applicant does not provide a Washington driver's license, a Washington state identification card, or a social security number, the applicant must be provisionally registered to vote. An identification notice must be sent to the voter to obtain the correct driver's license number, state identification card number, last four digits of the social security number, or one of the following forms of alternate identification:

(a) Valid photo identification;

(b) A valid enrollment card of a federally recognized Indian tribe in Washington state;

(c) A copy of a current utility bill;

(d) A current bank statement;

(e) A copy of a current government check;

(f) A copy of a current paycheck; or

(g) A government document, other than a voter registration card, that shows both the name and address of the voter.

(3) The ballot of a provisionally registered voter may not be counted until the voter provides a driver's license number, a state identification card number, or the last four digits of a social security number that matches the information maintained by the Washington department of licensing or the social security administration, or until the voter provides alternate identification. The identification must be provided no later than the day before certification of the primary or election. If the voter provides one of the forms of identification in subsection (2) of this section, the voter's registration status must be changed from provisionally registered to registered.

(4) A provisional registration must remain on the official list of registered voters through at least two general elections for federal office. If, after two general elections for federal office, the voter still has not verified his or her identity, the provisional registration may be canceled.

(5) The requirements of this section do not apply to an overseas or service voter who registers to vote by signing the return envelope of an absentee ballot, or to a registered voter transferring his or her registration.

[ 2009 c 369 § 9; 2005 c 246 § 4; 2004 c 267 § 106.]

RCW 29A.08.112 Voters without traditional residential addresses.

(1) No person registering to vote, who meets all the qualifications of a registered voter in the state of Washington, shall be disqualified because he or she lacks a traditional residential address. A voter who lacks a traditional residential address will be registered and assigned to a precinct based on the location provided.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a voter who resides in a shelter, park, motor home, marina, unmarked home, or other identifiable location that the voter deems to be his or her residence lacks a traditional address. A voter who registers under this section must provide a valid mailing address, and must still meet the requirement in Article VI, section 1 of the state Constitution that he or she live in the area for at least thirty days before the election.

(3) A nontraditional residential address may be used when a voter resides on an Indian reservation or on Indian lands.

(4) A federally recognized tribe may designate one or more tribal government buildings to serve as a residential address or mailing address or both for voters living on an Indian reservation or on Indian lands. However, a voter may not use a tribally designated building as the voter's residential address if the building is in a different precinct than where the voter lives.

(5) A person who has a traditional residential address and does not reside on an Indian reservation or on Indian lands must use that address for voter registration purposes and is not eligible to register under this section.

[ 2019 c 6 § 2; 2006 c 320 § 3; 2005 c 246 § 6.]

RCW 29A.08.120 Registration by mail.

Any elector of this state may register to vote by mail under this title.

[ 2004 c 267 § 109; 2003 c 111 § 208. Prior: 1993 c 434 § 3. Formerly RCW 29.08.030.]

RCW 29A.08.123 Registration electronically.

(1) A person who has a valid Washington state driver's license, state identification card, or tribal identification may submit a voter registration application electronically on the secretary of state's web site. A person who has a valid tribal identification card may submit a voter registration electronically on the secretary of state's web site if the secretary of state is able to obtain a copy of the applicant's signature from the federal government or the tribal government.

(2) The applicant must attest to the truth of the information provided on the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true.

(3) The applicant must affirmatively assent to use of his or her driver's license, state identification card, or tribal identification card signature for voter registration purposes.

(4) A voter registration application submitted electronically is otherwise considered a registration by mail.

(5) For each electronic application, the secretary of state must obtain a digital copy of the applicant's driver's license or state identification card signature from the department of licensing or tribal identification issuing authority.

(6) The secretary of state may employ additional security measures to ensure the accuracy and integrity of voter registration applications submitted electronically.

[ 2019 c 6 § 3; 2007 c 157 § 1.]

RCW 29A.08.130 Count of registered voters—Inactive voters.

Election officials shall not include inactive voters in the count of registered voters for the purpose of dividing precincts, determining voter turnout, or other purposes in law for which the determining factor is the number of registered voters.

[ 2011 c 10 § 14; 2009 c 369 § 13; 2003 c 111 § 210; 1994 c 57 § 40. Formerly RCW 29.10.081.]

RCW 29A.08.135 Updating information.

(1) When a person who has previously registered to vote in another state applies for voter registration in Washington, the person shall provide on the registration form all information needed to cancel any previous registration. Notification must be made to the state elections office of the applicant's previous state of registration.

(2) A county auditor receiving official information that a voter has registered to vote in another state shall immediately cancel that voter's registration on the official state voter registration list.

[ 2009 c 369 § 14; 2004 c 267 § 111; 2003 c 111 § 211; 2001 c 41 § 6; 1975 1st ex.s. c 184 § 1; 1973 c 153 § 2. Formerly RCW 29.07.092.]

RCW 29A.08.140 Voter registration deadlines.

(1) In order to vote in any primary, special election, or general election, a person who is not registered to vote in Washington must:

(a) Submit a registration application that is received by an election official no later than eight days before the day of the primary, special election, or general election. For purposes of this subsection (1)(a), "received" means: (i) Being physically received by an election official by the close of business of the required deadline; or (ii) for applications received online or electronically, by midnight, of the required deadline; or

(b) Register in person at a county auditor's office, the division of elections if in a separate city from the county auditor's office, a voting center, a student engagement hub, or other location designated by the county auditor no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the primary, special election, or general election.

(2)(a) In order to change a residence address for voting in any primary, special election, or general election, a person who is already registered to vote in Washington may update his or her registration by:

(i) Submitting an address change using a registration application or making notification via any non-in-person method that is received by election officials no later than eight days before the day of the primary, special election, or general election; or

(ii) Appearing in person, at a county auditor's office, the division of elections if in a separate city from the county auditor's office, a voting center, or other location designated by the county auditor, no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the primary, special election, or general election to be in effect for that primary, special election, or general election.

(b) A registered voter who fails to update his or her residential address by this deadline may vote according to his or her previous registration address.

(3) To register or update a voting address in person at a county auditor's office, a voting center, or other location designated by the county auditor, a person must appear in person at a county auditor's office, a voting center, or other location designated by the county auditor at a time when the facility is open and complete the voter registration application by providing the information required by RCW 29A.08.010.

[ 2020 c 208 § 22; 2019 c 391 § 4; 2018 c 112 § 1; 2011 c 10 § 15; 2009 c 369 § 15; 2006 c 97 § 1; 2004 c 267 § 112; 2003 c 111 § 212. Prior: 1993 c 383 § 2; 1980 c 3 § 4; 1974 ex.s. c 127 § 4; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 20; 1965 c 9 § 29.07.160; prior: 1947 c 68 § 2; 1933 c 1 § 9; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 5114-9. Formerly RCW 29.07.160.]

RCW 29A.08.166 Party affiliation not required.

Under no circumstances may an individual be required to affiliate with, join, adhere to, express faith in, or declare a preference for, a political party or organization upon registering to vote.

[ 2004 c 271 § 108.]

RCW 29A.08.170 Registration at age sixteen and seventeen. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

(1) A person may sign up to register to vote if he or she is sixteen or seventeen years of age, as part of the future voter program.

(2) A person who signs up to register to vote may not vote until reaching eighteen years of age, and his or her name may not be added to the statewide voter registration database list of voters until such time as he or she will be eighteen years of age by the next election.

[ 2018 c 109 § 5.]

RCW 29A.08.170 Registration at age sixteen and seventeen. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

(1) A person may sign up to register to vote if he or she is sixteen or seventeen years of age, as part of the future voter program.

(2) A person who signs up to register to vote may not vote until reaching eighteen years of age unless the person is seventeen years of age at the primary election or presidential primary election and will be eighteen years of age by the general election. A person who signs up to register to vote may not be added to the statewide voter registration database list of voters until such time as he or she will be eligible to vote in the next election.

[ 2020 c 208 § 15; 2018 c 109 § 5.]

RCW 29A.08.172 Registration at age sixteen and seventeen—Application by mail. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

(1) A person who has attained sixteen years of age may sign up to register to vote, as part of the future voter program, by submitting a voter registration application by mail.

(2) The applicant must attest to the truth of the information provided on the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true.

(3) If signing up to register by mail, the person must provide a signature for voter registration purposes.

(4) The applicant must affirmatively acknowledge that he or she will not vote until his or her eighteenth birthday.

[ 2018 c 109 § 6.]

RCW 29A.08.172 Registration at age sixteen and seventeen—Application by mail. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

(1) A person who has attained sixteen years of age may sign up to register to vote, as part of the future voter program, by submitting a voter registration application by mail.

(2) The applicant must attest to the truth of the information provided on the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true.

(3) If signing up to register by mail, the person must provide a signature for voter registration purposes.

(4) The applicant must affirmatively acknowledge that he or she will not vote in a special or general election until his or her eighteenth birthday.

[ 2020 c 208 § 16; 2018 c 109 § 6.]

RCW 29A.08.174 Registration at age sixteen and seventeen—Application electronically. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

(1) A person who has attained sixteen years of age and has a valid Washington state driver's license or identicard may sign up to register to vote as part of the future voter program, by submitting a voter registration application electronically on the secretary of state's web site.

(2) The applicant must attest to the truth of the information provided on the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true.

(3) If signing up to register electronically, the applicant must affirmatively assent to the use of his or her driver's license or identicard signature for voter registration purposes.

(4) The applicant must affirmatively acknowledge that he or she will not vote until his or her eighteenth birthday.

(5) For each electronic registration application, the secretary of state must obtain a digital copy of the applicant's driver's license or identicard signature from the department of licensing.

(6) The secretary of state may employ additional security measures to ensure the accuracy and integrity of voter preregistration applications submitted electronically.

[ 2018 c 109 § 14.]

RCW 29A.08.174 Registration at age sixteen and seventeen—Application electronically. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

(1) A person who has attained sixteen years of age and has a valid Washington state driver's license or identicard may sign up to register to vote as part of the future voter program, by submitting a voter registration application electronically on the secretary of state's web site.

(2) The applicant must attest to the truth of the information provided on the application by affirmatively accepting the information as true.

(3) If signing up to register electronically, the applicant must affirmatively assent to the use of his or her driver's license or identicard signature for voter registration purposes.

(4) The applicant must affirmatively acknowledge that he or she will not vote in a special or general election until his or her eighteenth birthday, and will only vote in a primary election or presidential primary election if he or she will be eighteen years of age by the general election.

(5) For each electronic registration application, the secretary of state must obtain a digital copy of the applicant's driver's license or identicard signature from the department of licensing.

(6) The secretary of state may employ additional security measures to ensure the accuracy and integrity of voter preregistration applications submitted electronically.

[ 2020 c 208 § 17; 2018 c 109 § 14.]

RCW 29A.16.040 Precincts—Boundaries may be altered.

The county legislative authority of each county in the state shall divide the county into election precincts and establish the boundaries of the precincts.

(1) Precinct boundaries may be altered at any time as long as sufficient time exists prior to a given election for the necessary procedural steps to be honored. Except as permitted under subsection (3) of this section, no precinct changes may be made during the period starting fourteen days prior to the first day for candidates to file for the primary election and ending with the day of the general election.

(2) The county legislative authority may establish by ordinance a limitation on the maximum number of active registered voters in each precinct within its jurisdiction. The number may be less than the number established by law, but in no case may the number exceed one thousand five hundred active registered voters.

(3) The county auditor shall temporarily adjust precinct boundaries when a city or town annexes unincorporated territory to the city or town, or whenever unincorporated territory is incorporated as a city or town. The adjustment must be made as soon as possible after the approval of the annexation or incorporation. The temporary adjustment must be limited to the minimum changes necessary to accommodate the addition of the territory to the city or town, or to establish the eligible voters within the boundaries of the new city or town, and remains in effect only until precinct boundary modifications reflecting the annexation or incorporation are adopted by the county legislative authority.

[ 2011 c 349 § 5; 2011 c 10 § 26; 2004 c 266 § 10; 2003 c 111 § 404; 1999 c 158 § 3; 1994 c 57 § 3; 1986 c 167 § 2; 1980 c 107 § 3. Prior: 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 4; 1977 ex.s. c 128 § 1; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 129 § 3; 1967 ex.s. c 109 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.04.040; prior: (i) 1921 c 178 § 1, part; 1915 c 11 § 1, part; 1907 c 130 § 1, part; 1889 p 402 § 7, part; Code 1881 § 3067, part; 1865 p 30 § 1, part; RRS § 5171, part. (ii) 1907 c 130 § 2, part; 1889 p 408 § 21, part; RRS § 5278, part. (iii) Code 1881 § 2679; 1854 p 65 § 4, part; No RRS. Formerly RCW 29.04.040.]

RCW 29A.16.050 Precincts—Restrictions on precinct boundaries—Designated by number.

(1) Every voting precinct must be wholly within a single congressional district, a single legislative district, a single district of a county legislative authority, and, if applicable, a single city.

(2) Every voting precinct shall be composed, as nearly as practicable, of contiguous and compact areas.

(3) Except as provided in this subsection, changes to the boundaries of any precinct shall follow visible, physical features delineated on the most current maps provided by the United States census bureau. A change need not follow such visible, physical features if (a) it is necessitated by an annexation or incorporation and the proposed precinct boundary is identical to an exterior boundary of the annexed or incorporated area which does not follow a visible, physical feature; or (b) doing so would substantially impair election administration in the involved area.

(4) After a change to precinct boundaries is adopted by the county legislative authority, if the change does not follow visible physical features, the county auditor shall send to the secretary of state an electronic or paper copy of the description, a map or maps of the changes, and a statement of the applicable exception under subsection (3) of this section. For boundary changes made pursuant to subsection (3)(b) of this section, the auditor shall include a statement of the reasons why following visible, physical features would have substantially impaired election administration.

(5) Every voting precinct within each county shall be designated by number for the purpose of preparation of maps and the tabulation of population for apportionment purposes. These precincts may be identified with names or other numbers for other election purposes.

(6) After a change to precinct boundaries in a city or town, the county auditor shall send one copy of the map or maps delineating the new precinct boundaries within that city or town to the city or town clerk.

(7) Precinct maps are public records and shall be available for inspection by the public during normal office hours in the offices where they are kept. Copies shall be made available to the public for a fee necessary to cover the cost of reproduction.

[ 2003 c 111 § 405; 1999 c 298 § 1; 1989 c 278 § 1; 1977 ex.s. c 128 § 2; 1965 c 9 § 29.04.050. Prior: 1921 c 178 § 1, part; 1915 c 11 § 1, part; 1907 c 130 § 1, part; 1889 p 402 § 7, part; Code 1881 § 3067, part; 1865 p 30 § 1, part; RRS § 5171, part. Formerly RCW 29.04.050.]

RCW 29A.16.070 Precincts—Boundary changes—Registration transfer.

If the boundaries of any city, township, or rural precinct are changed in the manner provided by law, the county auditor shall update the registration records of every registered voter whose place of residence is affected thereby. It shall not be necessary for any registered voter whose registration has been changed from one precinct to another, by a change of boundary, to apply to the county auditor for a transfer of registration. The county auditor shall mail a notice to each registered voter.

[ 2013 c 11 § 78; 2003 c 111 § 1903; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 27; 1965 c 9 § 29.10.060. Prior: 1933 c 1 § 17; RRS § 5114-17. Formerly RCW 29A.76.030, 29.10.060.]

RCW 29A.08.610 Dual registration or voting detection.

The secretary of state shall conduct an ongoing list maintenance program designed to detect persons registered in more than one county or voting in more than one county in an election. This program must be applied uniformly throughout the state and must be nondiscriminatory in its application.

The office of the secretary of state shall search the statewide voter registration list to find registered voters with the same date of birth and similar names. Once the potential duplicate registrations are identified, the secretary of state shall refer the potential duplicate registrations to the appropriate county auditors, who shall compare the signatures on each voter registration record and, after confirming that a duplicate registration exists properly resolve the duplication.

If a voter is suspected of voting in two or more counties in an election, the county auditors in each county shall cooperate without delay to determine the voter's county of residence. The county auditor of the county of residence of the voter suspected of voting in two or more counties shall take action under RCW 29A.84.010 without delay.

[ 2009 c 369 § 28; 2004 c 267 § 129; 2003 c 111 § 237; 2001 c 41 § 10; 1999 c 100 § 4. Formerly RCW 29.10.185.]

RCW 29A.08.615 "Active," "inactive" registered voters—"Pending" registrations.

(1) Registered voters are divided into two categories, "active" and "inactive." All registered voters are classified as active, unless assigned to inactive status by the county auditor.

(2) Persons signing up to register to vote as future voters as defined under RCW 29A.04.070 are classified as "pending" until the person will be at least eighteen years of age by the next election.

[ 2018 c 109 § 9; 2003 c 111 § 238. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 34. Formerly RCW 29.10.015.]

RCW 29A.08.620 Change of address information for mail ballots—Assignment of voter to inactive status—Confirmation notice.

(1) Each county auditor must request change of address information from the postal service for all mail ballots.

(2) The county auditor shall transfer the registration of a voter and send an acknowledgment notice to the new address informing the voter of the transfer if change of address information received by the county auditor from the postal service, the department of licensing, or another agency designated to provide voter registration services indicates that the voter has moved within the county.

(3) The county auditor shall place a voter on inactive status and send to all known addresses a confirmation notice and a voter registration application if change of address information received by the county auditor from the postal service, the department of licensing, or another agency designated to provide voter registration services indicates that the voter has moved from one county to another.

(4) The county auditor shall place a voter on inactive status and send to all known addresses a confirmation notice if any of the following occur:

(a) Any document mailed by the county auditor to a voter is returned by the postal service as undeliverable without address correction information; or

(b) Change of address information received from the postal service, the department of licensing, or another state agency designated to provide voter registration services indicates that the voter has moved out of the state.

[ 2011 c 10 § 17; 2009 c 369 § 29. Prior: 2004 c 267 § 130; 2004 c 266 § 8; 2003 c 111 § 239; prior: 1994 c 57 § 38. Formerly RCW 29.10.071.]

RCW 29A.08.625 Voting by inactive or canceled voters.

(1) A voter whose registration has been made inactive under this chapter and who requests to vote at an ensuing election before two federal general elections have been held must be allowed to vote a regular ballot applicable to the registration address, and the voter's registration restored to active status.

(2) A voter whose registration has been properly canceled under this chapter shall vote a provisional ballot. The voter shall mark the provisional ballot in secrecy, the ballot placed in a security envelope, the security envelope placed in a provisional ballot envelope, and the reasons for the use of the provisional ballot noted.

(3) Upon receipt of such a voted provisional ballot the auditor shall investigate the circumstances surrounding the original cancellation. If he or she determines that the cancellation was in error, the voter's registration must be immediately reinstated, and the voter's provisional ballot must be counted. If the original cancellation was not in error, the voter must be afforded the opportunity to reregister at his or her correct address, and the voter's provisional ballot must not be counted.

[ 2009 c 369 § 30; 2003 c 111 § 240; 1994 c 57 § 47. Formerly RCW 29.10.220.]

RCW 29A.08.630 Return of inactive voter to active status—Cancellation of registration.

The county auditor shall return an inactive voter to active voter status if, prior to the passage of two federal general elections, the voter:

(1) Notifies the auditor of a change of address;

(2) Responds to a confirmation notice with information that he or she continues to reside at the registration address; or

(3) Votes or attempts to vote in a primary, special election, or general election. If the inactive voter fails to provide such a notice or take such an action within that period, the auditor shall cancel the person's voter registration.

[ 2009 c 369 § 31; 2004 c 267 § 131; 2003 c 111 § 241. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 39. Formerly RCW 29.10.075.]

RCW 29A.08.635 Confirmation notices—Form, contents.

Confirmation notices must be on a form prescribed by, or approved by, the secretary of state and must request that the voter confirm that he or she continues to reside at the address of record and desires to continue to use that address for voting purposes. The notice must inform the voter that if the voter does not respond to the notice and does not vote in either of the next two federal general elections, his or her voter registration will be canceled.

[ 2009 c 369 § 32; 2003 c 111 § 242. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 45. Formerly RCW 29.10.200.]

RCW 29A.08.640 Confirmation notice—Response, auditor's action.

(1) If the response to the confirmation notice from the voter indicates that the voter has moved within the county, the auditor shall transfer the voter's registration and send the voter an acknowledgment notice.

(2) If the response from the voter indicates that the voter moved out of the county, but within the state, the auditor shall cancel the voter's registration and notify the county auditor of the voter's new county of residence.

(3) If the response from the voter indicates that the voter has left the state, the auditor shall cancel the voter's registration on the official state voter registration list.

[ 2009 c 369 § 33; 2004 c 267 § 132; 2003 c 111 § 243. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 46. Formerly RCW 29.10.210.]

RCW 29A.08.210 Application—Contents. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

An applicant for voter registration shall complete an application providing the following information concerning his or her qualifications as a voter in this state:

(1) The former address of the applicant if previously registered to vote;

(2) The applicant's full name;

(3) The applicant's date of birth;

(4) The address of the applicant's residence for voting purposes;

(5) The mailing address of the applicant if that address is not the same as the address in subsection (4) of this section;

(6) The sex of the applicant;

(7) The applicant's Washington state driver's license number, Washington state identification card number, or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number if he or she does not have a Washington state driver's license or Washington state identification card;

(8) A check box allowing the applicant to indicate that he or she is a member of the armed forces, national guard, or reserves, or that he or she is an overseas voter;

(9) A check box allowing the applicant to acknowledge that he or she is at least eighteen years old or is at least sixteen years old and will vote only after he or she reaches the age of eighteen;

(10) Clear and conspicuous language, designed to draw the applicant's attention, stating that the applicant must be a United States citizen in order to register to vote;

(11) A check box and declaration confirming that the applicant is a citizen of the United States;

(12) The following warning:

"If you knowingly provide false information on this voter registration form or knowingly make a false declaration about your qualifications for voter registration you will have committed a class C felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to ten thousand dollars, or both."

(13) The oath required by RCW 29A.08.230 and a space for the applicant's signature; and

(14) Any other information that the secretary of state determines is necessary to establish the identity of the applicant and prevent duplicate or fraudulent voter registrations.

This information shall be recorded on a single registration form to be prescribed by the secretary of state.

[ 2018 c 109 § 8; 2009 c 369 § 16; 2005 c 246 § 11; 2003 c 111 § 216; 1994 c 57 § 11; 1990 c 143 § 7; 1973 1st ex.s. c 21 § 3; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 9; 1965 c 9 § 29.07.070. Prior: 1947 c 68 § 3, part; 1933 c 1 § 11, part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 5114-11, part; prior: 1921 c 177 § 7, part; 1915 c 16 § 8, part; 1901 c 135 § 4, part; 1893 c 45 § 3, part; 1889 p 416 § 8, part; RRS § 5126, part. Formerly RCW 29.07.070.]

RCW 29A.08.210 Application—Contents. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

An applicant for voter registration shall complete an application providing the following information concerning his or her qualifications as a voter in this state:

(1) The former address of the applicant if previously registered to vote;

(2) The applicant's full name;

(3) The applicant's date of birth;

(4) The address of the applicant's residence for voting purposes;

(5) The mailing address of the applicant if that address is not the same as the address in subsection (4) of this section;

(6) The sex of the applicant;

(7) The applicant's Washington state driver's license number, Washington state identification card number, or the last four digits of the applicant's social security number if he or she does not have a Washington state driver's license or Washington state identification card;

(8) A check box allowing the applicant to indicate that he or she is a member of the armed forces, national guard, or reserves, or that he or she is an overseas voter;

(9) A check box allowing the applicant to acknowledge that he or she is at least sixteen years old;

(10) Clear and conspicuous language, designed to draw the applicant's attention, stating that:

(a) The applicant must be a United States citizen in order to register to vote; and

(b) The applicant may register to vote if the applicant is at least sixteen years old and may vote if the applicant will be at least eighteen years old by the next general election, or is at least eighteen years old for special elections;

(11) A check box and declaration confirming that the applicant is a citizen of the United States;

(12) The following warning:

"If you knowingly provide false information on this voter registration form or knowingly make a false declaration about your qualifications for voter registration you will have committed a class C felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to ten thousand dollars, or both."

(13) The oath required by RCW 29A.08.230 and a space for the applicant's signature; and

(14) Any other information that the secretary of state determines is necessary to establish the identity of the applicant and prevent duplicate or fraudulent voter registrations.

This information shall be recorded on a single registration form to be prescribed by the secretary of state.

[ 2020 c 208 § 3; 2018 c 109 § 8; 2009 c 369 § 16; 2005 c 246 § 11; 2003 c 111 § 216; 1994 c 57 § 11; 1990 c 143 § 7; 1973 1st ex.s. c 21 § 3; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 9; 1965 c 9 § 29.07.070. Prior: 1947 c 68 § 3, part; 1933 c 1 § 11, part; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 5114-11, part; prior: 1921 c 177 § 7, part; 1915 c 16 § 8, part; 1901 c 135 § 4, part; 1893 c 45 § 3, part; 1889 p 416 § 8, part; RRS § 5126, part. Formerly RCW 29.07.070.]

RCW 29A.08.220 Application—Format.

(1) The secretary of state shall specify by rule the format of all voter registration applications. These applications shall be compatible with existing voter registration records. An applicant for voter registration shall be required to complete only one application and to provide the required information other than his or her signature no more than one time. These applications shall also contain information for the voter to update his or her registration.

(2) Any application format specified by the secretary for use in registering to vote in state and local elections shall satisfy the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-31) and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-252) for registering to vote in federal elections.

[ 2013 c 11 § 13; 2004 c 267 § 115; 2003 c 111 § 217. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 18; 1990 c 143 § 9; 1973 1st ex.s. c 21 § 7; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 18; 1965 c 9 § 29.07.140; prior: (i) 1933 c 1 § 30; RRS § 5114-30. (ii) 1933 c 1 § 13, part; RRS § 5114-13, part. Formerly RCW 29.07.140.]

RCW 29A.08.230 Oath of applicant. (Effective until January 1, 2022.)

For all voter registrations, the registrant shall sign the following oath:

"I declare that the facts on this voter registration form are true. I am a citizen of the United States, I will have lived at this address in Washington for at least thirty days immediately before the next election at which I vote, I am at least sixteen years old, I am not disqualified from voting due to a court order, and I am not under department of corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction."

[ 2020 c 208 § 4; 2013 c 11 § 14; 2009 c 369 § 17; 2003 c 111 § 218; 1994 c 57 § 12; 1990 c 143 § 8; 1973 1st ex.s. c 21 § 4; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 10; 1965 c 9 § 29.07.080. Prior: 1933 c 1 § 12; RRS § 5114-12. Formerly RCW 29.07.080.]

RCW 29A.08.230 Oath of applicant. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

For all voter registrations, the registrant shall sign the following oath:

"I declare that the facts on this voter registration form are true. I am a citizen of the United States, I will have lived at this address in Washington for at least thirty days immediately before the next election at which I vote, and I am at least sixteen years old. I am not disqualified from voting due to a court order, and I am not currently serving a sentence of total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections for a Washington felony conviction, and I am not currently incarcerated for a federal or out-of-state felony conviction."

[ 2021 c 10 § 2; 2020 c 208 § 4; 2013 c 11 § 14; 2009 c 369 § 17; 2003 c 111 § 218; 1994 c 57 § 12; 1990 c 143 § 8; 1973 1st ex.s. c 21 § 4; 1971 ex.s. c 202 § 10; 1965 c 9 § 29.07.080. Prior: 1933 c 1 § 12; RRS § 5114-12. Formerly RCW 29.07.080.]

RCW 29A.08.260 Production, supply, and distribution.

(1) All registration applications required under RCW 29A.08.210 and 29A.08.340 shall be produced and furnished by the secretary of state to the county auditors and the department of licensing.

(2) The county auditor shall distribute forms by which a person may register to vote by mail and transfer any previous registration in this state. The county auditor shall keep a supply of voter registration forms in his or her office at all times for political parties and others interested in assisting in voter registration, and shall make every effort to make these forms generally available to the public. The county auditor shall provide voter registration forms to city and town clerks, state offices, schools, fire stations, public libraries, and any other locations considered appropriate by the auditor or secretary of state for extending registration opportunities to all areas of the county. After the initial distribution of voter registration forms to a given location, a representative designated by the official in charge of that location shall notify the county auditor of the need for additional voter registration supplies.

[ 2013 c 11 § 15; 2009 c 369 § 18; 2004 c 267 § 118; 2003 c 111 § 221. Prior: 1993 c 434 § 4. Formerly RCW 29.08.040.]

RCW 29A.08.270 Information 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 29A.04.240, 29.04.085.]

RCW 29A.84.010 Voting, registration irregularities.

(1) A county auditor who suspects a person of fraudulent voter registration, vote tampering, or irregularities in voting shall transmit his or her suspicions and observations without delay to the canvassing board.

(2) The county auditor shall make a good faith effort to contact the person in question without delay. If the county auditor is unable to contact the person, or if, after contacting the person, the auditor still suspects fraudulent voter registration, vote tampering, or irregularities in voting, the auditor shall refer the issue to the county prosecuting attorney to determine if further action is warranted.

(3) When a complaint providing information concerning fraudulent voter registration, vote tampering, or irregularities in voting is presented to the office of the prosecuting attorney, that office shall file charges in all cases where warranted.

[ 2003 c 111 § 2101; 2001 c 41 § 12. Formerly RCW 29.85.245.]

RCW 29A.84.130 Voter violations.

Any person who:

(1) Knowingly provides false information on an application for voter registration under any provision of this title;

(2) Knowingly makes or attests to a false declaration as to his or her qualifications as a voter;

(3) Knowingly causes or permits himself or herself to be registered using the name of another person;

(4) Knowingly causes himself or herself to be registered under two or more different names;

(5) Knowingly causes himself or herself to be registered in two or more counties;

(6) Offers to pay another person to assist in registering voters, where payment is based on a fixed amount of money per voter registration;

(7) Accepts payment for assisting in registering voters, where payment is based on a fixed amount of money per voter registration; or

(8) Knowingly causes any person to be registered or causes any registration to be transferred or canceled except as authorized under this title,

is guilty of a class C felony punishable under RCW 9A.20.021.

[ 2003 c 111 § 2107. Prior: 1994 c 57 § 25; 1991 c 81 § 12; 1990 c 143 § 12; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 110; 1965 c 9 § 29.85.200; prior: 1933 c 1 § 27; RRS § 5114-27; prior: 1893 c 45 § 5; 1889 p 418 § 16; RRS § 5136. Formerly RCW 29.07.410, 29.85.200.]

RCW 29A.92.005 Findings—Intent.

The legislature finds that electoral systems that deny race, color, or language minority groups an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice are inconsistent with the right to free and equal elections as provided by Article I, section 19 and Article VI, section 1 of the Washington state Constitution as well as protections found in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution. The well-established principle of "one person, one vote" and the prohibition on vote dilution have been consistently upheld in federal and state courts for more than fifty years.

The legislature also finds that local government subdivisions are often prohibited from addressing these challenges because of Washington laws that narrowly prescribe the methods by which they may elect members of their legislative bodies. The legislature finds that in some cases, this has resulted in an improper dilution of voting power for these minority groups. The legislature intends to modify existing prohibitions in state laws so that these jurisdictions may voluntarily adopt changes on their own, in collaboration with affected community members, to remedy potential electoral issues so that minority groups have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice or influence the outcome of an election.

The legislature intends for this chapter to be consistent with federal protections that may provide a similar remedy for minority groups. Remedies shall also be available where the drawing of crossover and coalition districts is able to address both vote dilution and racial polarization.

The legislature also intends for this chapter to be consistent with legal precedent from Mt. Spokane Skiing Corp. v. Spokane Co. (86 Wn. App. 165, 1997) that found that noncharter counties need not adhere to a single uniform county system of government, but that each county have the same "authority available" in order to be deemed uniform.

[ 2019 c 64 § 6; 2018 c 113 § 102.]

RCW 29A.92.010 Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise. In applying these definitions and other terms in this chapter, courts may rely on relevant federal case law for guidance.

(1) "At large election" means any of the following methods of electing members of the governing body of a political subdivision:

(a) One in which the voters of the entire jurisdiction elect the members to the governing body;

(b) One in which the candidates are required to reside within given areas of the jurisdiction and the voters of the entire jurisdiction elect the members to the governing body; or

(c) One that combines the criteria in (a) and (b) of this subsection or one that combines at large with district-based elections.

(2) "District-based elections" means a method of electing members to the governing body of a political subdivision in which the candidate must reside within an election district that is a divisible part of the political subdivision and is elected only by voters residing within that election district.

(3) "Polarized voting" means voting in which there is a difference, as defined in case law regarding enforcement of the federal voting rights act, 52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq., in the choice of candidates or other electoral choices that are preferred by voters in a protected class, and in the choice of candidates and electoral choices that are preferred by voters in the rest of the electorate.

(4) "Political subdivision" means any county, city, town, school district, fire protection district, port district, or public utility district, but does not include the state.

(5) "Protected class" means a class of voters who are members of a race, color, or language minority group, as this class is referenced and defined in the federal voting rights act, 52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.

[ 2018 c 113 § 103.]

RCW 29A.92.010 Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise. In applying these definitions and other terms in this chapter, courts may rely on relevant federal case law for guidance.

(1) "At large election" means any of the following methods of electing members of the governing body of a political subdivision:

(a) One in which the voters of the entire jurisdiction elect the members to the governing body;

(b) One in which the candidates are required to reside within given areas of the jurisdiction and the voters of the entire jurisdiction elect the members to the governing body; or

(c) One that combines the criteria in (a) and (b) of this subsection or one that combines at large with district-based elections.

(2) "District-based elections" means a method of electing members to the governing body of a political subdivision in which the candidate must reside within an election district that is a divisible part of the political subdivision and is elected only by voters residing within that election district.

(3) "Polarized voting" means voting in which there is a difference, as defined in case law regarding enforcement of the federal voting rights act, 52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq., in the choice of candidates or other electoral choices that are preferred by voters in a protected class, and in the choice of candidates and electoral choices that are preferred by voters in the rest of the electorate.

(4) "Political subdivision" means any county, city, town, school district, fire protection district, port district, or public utility district, but does not include the state.

(5) "Protected class" means a class of voters who are members of a race, color, or language minority group, as this class is referenced and defined in the federal voting rights act, 52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.

[ 2018 c 113 § 103.]

RCW 29A.92.030 Violations—Factors.

(1) A political subdivision is in violation of this chapter when it is shown that:

(a) Elections in the political subdivision exhibit polarized voting; and

(b) Members of a protected class or classes do not have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice as a result of the dilution or abridgment of the rights of members of that protected class or classes.

(2) The fact that members of a protected class are not geographically compact or concentrated to constitute a majority in a proposed or existing district-based election district shall not preclude a finding of a violation under this chapter, but may be a factor in determining a remedy. The equal opportunity to elect shall be assessed pragmatically, based on local election conditions, and may include crossover districts.

(3) In determining whether there is polarized voting under this chapter, the court shall analyze elections of the governing body of the political subdivision, ballot measure elections, elections in which at least one candidate is a member of a protected class, and other electoral choices that affect the rights and privileges of members of a protected class. Elections conducted prior to the filing of an action pursuant to this chapter are more probative to establish the existence of racially polarized voting than elections conducted after the filing of an action.

(4) The election of candidates who are members of a protected class and who were elected prior to the filing of an action pursuant to this chapter shall not preclude a finding of polarized voting that results in an unequal opportunity for a protected class to elect candidates of their choice.

(5) Proof of intent on the part of the voters or elected officials to discriminate against a protected class is not required for a cause of action to be sustained.

(6) Other factors such as the history of discrimination, the use of electoral devices or other voting practices or procedures that may enhance the dilutive effects of at large elections, denial of access to those processes determining which groups of candidates will receive financial or other support in a given election, the extent to which members of a protected class bear the effects of past discrimination in areas such as education, employment, and health, which hinder their ability to participate effectively in the political process, and the use of overt or subtle racial appeals in political campaigns are probative, but not necessary factors, to establish a violation of this chapter.

[ 2019 c 64 § 7; 2018 c 113 § 302.]

RCW 29A.84.060 Native American voting rights—Civil actions.

(1) The attorney general may bring a civil action for such declaratory or injunctive relief as is necessary to carry out the provisions of RCW 29A.40.170 (3) and (4) in the superior court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred.

(2) A person or federally recognized tribal government may bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to RCW 29A.08.112(3), 29.08.310(2), or 29A.40.170 (3) and (4), in the superior court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred if:

(a) In the case of a violation that occurs more than one hundred twenty days before an election, that person or tribal government provides notice of the violation to the secretary of state, the violation remains, and ninety days or more have passed since the secretary of state has received the written notice;

(b) In the case of a violation that occurs one hundred twenty days or fewer before an election, that person or tribal government provides notice of the violation to the secretary of state, the violation remains and twenty days or more have passed since the secretary of state has received the written notice; or

(c) In the case of a violation that occurs thirty days or fewer before an election, without providing notice of the violation to the secretary of state.

[ 2019 c 6 § 7.]