Recount laws in Washington
Each state has its own series of recount laws. The separation of powers clause in the constitution has largely placed the responsibility for conducting on state governments. Here is a summary of the recount laws in Washington.Note: Before taking any action, or if you have any questions, contact your state election agency.
Washington voting equipment
Washington uses Direct Recording Electronic Method in its voting systems and requires a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail when conducting elections.
Washington recount procedures
An officer of a political party or a candidate may file a written application for a recount of all or a portion of the votes cast. The application must be filed with the officer with whom filings for the office are made within three business days after the county canvassing board or Secretary of State has declared the official results of the election. The application must specify whether the recount will be done manually or by the vote tally system. If the difference in the number of votes cast for the winning candidate and the second-place candidate is less than 2,000 votes and also less than 0.5% of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the county canvassing board shall conduct a recount of all votes cast on that position.
If the difference in the number of votes cast for the winning candidate and the second- place candidate is less than 150 votes and also less than 0.25% of the total number of votes cast for both candidates, the votes shall be recounted manually unless the two candidates agree on an appropriate alternative method. If more than one balloting system was used in casting votes for the office, an alternative to a manual recount may be selected for each system.
Witnesses shall be permitted to observe the ballots and the process of tabulating the votes, but they shall not be permitted to handle the ballots. If a partial recount changes the result of the election, a complete recount of all ballots cast for the office in question shall take place. The votes in any precinct may not be recounted and the results re-certified more than twice.
Washington vote contest procedures
Any registered voter may contest an election on various grounds including misconduct on the part of a member of the election board or illegal votes. If misconduct is alleged, the election result will not be set aside unless the rejection of the votes of the precincts in question would change the outcome of the election. If illegal votes are alleged, the election result will not be set aside unless the rejection of the votes in question would change the outcome of the election.