Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



State Government, Elections & Information Technology Committee

SSB 5472

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Requiring ballot drop boxes in all communities.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on State Government (originally sponsored by Senator Pearson).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Requires each county to have at least one ballot drop box per 15,000 registered voters in the county, and in each city, town, and census-designated area with a post office to have at least one ballot drop box.

Hearing Date: 3/14/17

Staff: Sean Flynn (786-7124).


Registered voters receive election ballots by mail for each election and may return voted ballots to the county auditor by mail or by depositing the ballot in a designate ballot drop box. Many counties have drop boxes at the county voting center as well as other permanent and temporary locations. Voting centers and drop boxes are open until 8 p.m. on election day.

The Secretary of State adopts rules specifying requirements for ballot deposit sites. Drop boxes must be secure at all times and emptied regularly by two staff.

Summary of Bill:

Each county must have one ballot drop box per 15,000 registered voters in the county. Each city, town, and census-designated place in the county with a post office must have at least one ballot drop box.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.