Washington Administrative Code
Title 434 - Secretary of State
434-261 - Counting center procedures.
434-261-020 - Observers.
Counting center operations shall be observed by at least one representative from each political party, if representatives have been appointed by the respective political parties and those representatives are present while the counting center is in operation.
Prior to processing ballots for a primary or election, the county auditor shall notify the major political parties in writing of the maximum number of official observers allowed to observe ballot processing and the date ballot processing begins. Where more than one observer is appointed, the political party shall designate one of the observers as supervisor. The county auditor may require observers to receive training with respect to ballot processing procedures and the vote tallying system.
Before final assignment as observers, major political party representatives so appointed shall be reviewed by the county auditor, who may refuse to approve any person so appointed. In the event the auditor rejects a person designated, he or she shall promptly notify the political party concerned and request that a substitute observer be appointed, and shall ensure that the substitute observer is trained.
Representatives of the major political parties appointed as observers shall be identified by roster, including assigned observer stations if more than one in the counting center, and by identification tags which will indicate the observer's name and the party represented.
The counting center is under the direction of the county auditor. All observers are authorized to observe the processing of ballots for the current election as defined by WAC 434-250-110. Observers may not touch or record images of voted ballots, challenge signature check decisions, object to decisions to count or not count votes or ballots, or disrupt ballot processing. The county auditor shall provide written rules for observers. The county auditor may require an observer who does not follow the established rules to leave the counting center.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 17-12-090, § 434-261-020, filed 6/6/17, effective 7/7/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611 and 29A.04.620. WSR 16-13-063, § 434-261-020, filed 6/13/16, effective 7/14/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-261-020, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. WSR 04-15-089, § 434-261-020, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. WSR 97-21-045, recodified as § 434-261-020, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080 and 29.04.210. WSR 92-10-038, § 434-61-020, filed 5/4/92, effective 6/4/92.]