Recount Information

​State law (RCW 29A.64) requires recounts when votes for offices or statewide ballot measures fall within a certain range. No laws require recounts for local measures.

Election officials conduct recounts in two ways: by machine or by hand (manual). Observers appointed by the candidates or the political parties can observe all stages of a recount, as can other interested members of the public.

Once election officials complete the recount, the canvassing board certifies the results.

 

Recount Calculator

 

Machine Recounts

 

A candidate and state ballot measure election triggers a machine recount when the difference between the two candidates and choices meets BOTH of the following criteria:

  1. Less than 2000 vote difference
  2. Less than ½ of 1% (.005)

 

Hand Recounts (Statewide Offices or Measures)

 

A statewide, legislative or state judicial race and state ballot measure election triggers a hand recount when the difference between the two candidates and choices meets BOTH of the following criteria:

  1. Less than 1000 votes
  2. Less than ¼ of 1% (.0025)

 

Hand Recounts (Local Offices)

 

No laws mandate recounts for local measures or issues. For local offices, the difference between the two candidates and choices must meet BOTH of the following criteria:

  1. Less than 150 votes
  2. Less than ¼ of 1% (.0025)

 

Requested Recount

 

The following people and groups can request a recount:

  • One of the candidates in the race
  • A political party representative for a race
  • A group of five or more voters for a ballot measure

Individuals and groups interested in requesting a recount must file an application for a recount within two business days after certification of the election results.

In addition to submitting the application for a recount, the individual or group must provide a deposit in cash or certified check in the amount equal to $0.25 for each ballot cast in the jurisdiction or portion of the jurisdiction for which they request a recount. If the application is for a machine recount, the deposit must be equal to $0.15 for each ballot counted.

The individual or group must submit the application to the appropriate elections office (RCW 29A.64.030).