Washington Administrative Code
Title 434 - Secretary of State
434-250 - Elections by mail.
434-250-105 - Voting centers.
(1) If a location offers replacement ballots, reissued ballots, provisional ballots, or voting on a direct recording electronic device, it is considered a voting center.
(2) At least one voting center must be open during business hours during the voting period, which begins eighteen days before, and ends at 8:00 p.m. on the day of the special, primary, or general election. Additional voting centers, and additional locations that are not voting centers, established by the county auditor to provide other services are not required to be open for the full eighteen-day voting period. In addition to the requirements of RCW 29A.40.160, each voting center must:
(a) Be an accessible location. "Accessible" means the combination of factors which create an environment free of barriers to the mobility or functioning of voters. The environment consists of the routes of travel to and through the buildings or facilities used for voting. The Americans with Disabilities Act Checklist for Polling Places shall be used when determining the accessibility of a voting center. A voting center is fully accessible if all responses in each category are "Yes";
(b) Be located in a public building or building that is leased by a public entity including, but not limited to, libraries;
(c) Be marked with signage outside the building indicating the location as a place for voting;
(d) Issue ballots that include a declaration in the ballot materials;
(e) Offer disability access voting in a location or manner that provides for voter privacy. For each voting center, the county auditor must have a contingency plan to accommodate accessible voting in the event that an accessible voting unit malfunctions or must be removed from service;
(f) Offer provisional ballots, which may be sample ballots that meet provisional ballot requirements;
(g) Have electronic or telephonic access to the voter registration system, consistent with WAC 434-250-095, if the voting center offers voting on a direct recording electronic voting device. The county auditor shall require the voter to print and sign the ballot declaration provided in WAC 434-230-015. Ballot declaration signatures may not be maintained in the order in which they were signed. Before the voter may vote on a direct recording electronic voting device, the county auditor must either:
(i) Verify the signature on the ballot declaration against the signature in the voter registration record; or
(ii) Require the voter to provide photo identification, consistent with RCW 29A.40.160.
(h) Provide either a voters' pamphlet or sample ballots;
(i) Provide voter registration services pursuant to RCW 29A.08.140. If the voter registration system is unable to process applications, the county auditor shall offer conditional registration and balloting services;
(j) Display a HAVA voter information poster, containing an example of an actual ballot or a sample ballot in substantially the same format as an actual ballot;
(k) Display the date of that election;
(l) During a primary that includes a partisan office, and a general election that includes a partisan office, display the appropriate party preference notice provided in WAC 434-230-015. The party preference notices may also be posted on-screen in direct recording electronic voting devices;
(m) Provide instructions on how to properly mark the ballot; and
(n) Provide election materials in alternative languages if required by the Voting Rights Act.
(3) Where it appears that a particular voter is having difficulty casting their vote, and as a result, is impeding other voters from voting, the staff may provide assistance to that voter in the same manner as provided by law for those voters who request assistance. Where it appears that a voter is impeding other voters from voting to simply cause delay, the staff shall ask the voter to expedite the voting process. In the event the voter refuses to cooperate, the staff shall, whenever practical, contact the county auditor, who may request assistance from the appropriate law enforcement agencies if he or she deems such action necessary.
(4) At exactly 8:00 p.m. on election day, all ballot boxes must be emptied or secured to prevent the deposit of additional ballots; however, any voter who is in a voting center or in line at a voting center at 8:00 p.m. must be allowed to vote and deposit their ballot. Voted ballots, including provisional, mail-in, and direct recording electronic and paper records, must be placed into secured transport carriers for return to the county auditor's office or another designated location.
(5) The requirements for staffed ballot deposit sites per WAC 434-250-100 apply to voting centers.
(6) The county auditor may establish which services will be provided at additional locations, which days and hours the additional locations will be open, and shall publish the information for voters.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 19-12-115, § 434-250-105, filed 6/5/19, effective 7/6/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611 and 29A.04.620. WSR 16-13-063, § 434-250-105, filed 6/13/16, effective 7/14/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 14-06-040, § 434-250-105, filed 2/26/14, effective 3/29/14; WSR 12-14-074, § 434-250-105, 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, § 434-250-105, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12.]