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Recounts in Washington State

Mandatory Recounts for non-statewide races:

  • A machine recount is required when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 2,000 votes AND ALSO less than 1/2 of 1% of the total number of votes cast for both candidates.
  • A manual recount is required when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 150 votes AND ALSO less than 1/4 of 1% of the total votes cast for both candidates.

Non-Mandatory Recounts: A recount may be requested as follows, even if the difference between the top two candidates does not meet the mandatory recount thresholds:

  • An application for a recount of the votes cast must be filed with the elections officer with whom filings are made for the jurisdiction. For example, candidates for offices that encompass multiple counties file with the Secretary of State. The application must be filed within three business days after certification.
  • An officer of a political party or any person for whom votes were cast at any election may file a written application for a recount of the votes or a portion of the votes cast at that election for all candidates for election to that office.
  • Any group of five or more registered voters may file a written application for a recount of the votes or a portion of the votes cast upon any question or issue.
  • Any qualified individual or group of registered voters requesting a recount is required to, at the time of submitting the application for a recount, submit a deposit, by cash or certified check, to the county canvassing board or the Secretary of State as follows:
    • For a machine recount - fifteen cents for each ballot cast in the jurisdiction or portion of the jurisdiction for which the recount is requested.
    • For a manual recount - twenty-five cents for each ballot cast in the jurisdiction or portion of the jurisdiction for which the recount is requested.