Washington Administrative Code
Title 434 - Secretary of State
434-250 - Elections by mail.
434-250-100 - Ballot deposit sites.
Ballot deposit sites.
If a location only receives ballots and does not issue ballots, it is considered a ballot deposit site. Ballot deposit sites may be staffed or unstaffed.
(1) A staffed ballot deposit site must be staffed by at least two people. Deposit site staff may be employees of the county auditor's office or persons appointed by the auditor. Deposit site persons, appointed by the county auditor, shall be representatives of different major political parties whenever possible. Deposit site staff or appointees shall subscribe to an oath regarding the discharge of their duties. Staffed deposit sites open on election day must be open until 8:00 p.m. Staffed deposit sites may be open according to dates and times established by the county auditor. Staffed deposit sites must have a ballot box secured in the manner described in WAC 434-261-045.
(2) Unstaffed ballot deposit sites consist of secured ballot boxes that allow return envelopes, once deposited, to only be removed by authorized staff or appointees. Ballot boxes located outdoors must be constructed of durable material able to withstand inclement weather, and be sufficiently secured to the ground or another structure to prevent their removal. Unstaffed ballot deposit sites must accept ballots beginning eighteen days prior to election day until 8:00 p.m. on election day. The county auditor must empty each ballot box with sufficient frequency to prevent damage and unauthorized access to the ballots.
(3) Unstaffed ballot boxes must be locked and sealed in the manner described in WAC 434-261-045. At exactly 8:00 p.m. on election day, all unstaffed ballot boxes must be emptied or secured to prevent the deposit of additional ballots. The box must be closed and secured by one or two people. One person may secure an unstaffed ballot box only if:
(a) The person does not have access to the deposited ballots; and
(b) Before sealing the deposit slot, the person records the seal number on a log and places the log inside the ballot box. The slot is then closed and secured with the numbered seal; and
(c) A team of two removes the ballots from the box and verifies the seal and log.
The county auditor shall remove the deposited ballots and transport them to the counting center by either:
(i) Two employees of or two persons appointed by the county auditor; or
(ii) Secured transport carrier containing ballots removed and sealed by two employees of or two persons appointed by the county auditor. Sealed transport carriers may be delivered to the counting center by one person. Ballots shall be secured in this manner when transported by vehicle.
(4) Any voter who is in line at 8:00 p.m. at a ballot deposit site must be allowed to deposit his or her ballot.
(5) If county auditor staff are present at a ballot deposit site, the county auditor must accept late ballots and refer them to the canvassing board. When a ballot deposit site is secured by one person, a second deposit receptacle, sealed and logged in the county auditor's office, must be provided to serve as a receptacle for late ballots.
(6) Within twenty-five feet of a ballot deposit site that is not located within a voting center, no person may electioneer, circulate campaign material, solicit petition signatures, or interfere with or impede the voting process. Whenever it is necessary to maintain order around a ballot deposit site, the county auditor may contact a law enforcement agency for assistance.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 17-12-090, § 434-250-100, filed 6/6/17, effective 7/7/17; WSR 14-06-040, § 434-250-100, filed 2/26/14, effective 3/29/14; WSR 12-14-074, § 434-250-100, filed 7/2/12, effective 8/2/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-250-100, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.08.420, 29A.24.131, 29A.40.110, 29A.46.020, and 29A.80.041. WSR 10-14-091, § 434-250-100, filed 7/6/10, effective 8/6/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 10-03-072, § 434-250-100, filed 1/18/10, effective 2/18/10; WSR 08-05-120, § 434-250-100, filed 2/19/08, effective 3/21/08; WSR 07-20-074, § 434-250-100, filed 10/1/07, effective 11/1/07; WSR 06-23-094, § 434-250-100, filed 11/15/06, effective 12/16/06; WSR 06-14-047, § 434-250-100, filed 6/28/06, effective 7/29/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.530. WSR 06-02-028, § 434-250-100, filed 12/28/05, effective 1/28/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 05-17-145, § 434-250-100, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05.]