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WAC 434-261-070

Manual inspection of ballots.

(1) All voting positions on voted ballots shall be manually inspected on both sides of the ballot to determine whether the ballot is readable by the vote tabulating system. The county auditor must ensure that write-in votes are tabulated according to RCW 29A.60.021, consistent with the voter's intent. Ballots must be inspected for overvotes, undervotes, and write-in votes prior to tabulation. This manual inspection is a required part of processing ballots.
(2) The state of Washington is a voter intent state. When a voter's choice or intention can be determined, that vote shall be counted. If the manual inspection process detects any physically damaged ballots, unreadable ballots which might not be correctly counted by the tabulating equipment, or marks that differ from those specified in the voting instructions, such ballots may be duplicated or resolved, if necessary, and counted according to the statewide standards on what is a vote, as provided in WAC 434-261-086. The county canvassing board may authorize the county auditor to duplicate ballots that may be unreadable or uncountable by the tabulating system. Write-in votes without a readable mark in the target area must be processed according to the statewide standards on what is a vote found in WAC 434-261-086. The county canvassing board shall make the final determination of voter intent for ballots not addressed in the statewide standards on what is a vote.
[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, § 434-261-070, filed 12/18/18, effective 1/18/19. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 17-12-090, § 434-261-070, filed 6/6/17, effective 7/7/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611, 29A.04.620, and 29A.04.630. WSR 11-24-064, § 434-261-070, filed 12/6/11, effective 1/6/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.611. WSR 07-12-032, § 434-261-070, filed 5/30/07, effective 6/30/07; WSR 06-11-042, § 434-261-070, filed 5/10/06, effective 6/10/06; WSR 05-17-145, § 434-261-070, filed 8/19/05, effective 9/19/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 29A.04.610. WSR 04-15-089, § 434-261-070, filed 7/16/04, effective 8/16/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.210, 29.36.150. WSR 02-07-029, § 434-261-070, filed 3/12/02, effective 4/12/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 29.04.080, 29.04.210, 29.36.150 and 29.79.200. WSR 97-21-045, § 434-261-070, filed 10/13/97, effective 11/13/97.]
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