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Elections

King County Elections

King County Elections
919 Southwest Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057-2906

206-296-VOTE (8683)
TTY: Relay: 711
FAX: 206-296-0108

Hours:
Weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Reference: special circumstances

Recount information

Some recounts are required by law and some take place by request. There are two ways to conduct recounts – by machine or by hand (manual). Once the recount has been completed the Canvassing Board approves the results.

Observers appointed by the political parties and the candidates or their representatives are permitted to observe all stages of a recount. Other members of the public may also be allowed to observe the process.

Required (mandatory) recounts

Recounts are mandated by law when votes for offices or statewide measures fall within a certain range. There are no mandatory recounts for local measures.

Requested recount

A recount may be requested by:

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

An application for a recount must be filed within two business days after certification of the election results. The application must be submitted to the appropriate Elections office. Download the recount application form .

Machine recounts

The ballots are processed through the tabulation equipment. Elections staff reviews ballots as needed to confirm that the original results were accurate.
All Offices Less than 2,000 votes and less than .5% (.005) of the total votes cast for both candidates RCW 29A.64.021(1)

Manual (by hand) recounts

Teams of two Elections staff examine the ballots and hand tally the votes.
Statewide Offices Less than 1,000 votes and less than .25% (.0025) of the total votes cast for both candidates RCW 29A.64.021(1)(b)(i)
Regional/Local Offices Less than 150 votes and less than .25% (.0025) of the total votes cast for both candidates RCW 29A.64.021(1)(b)(i)

Primary v. General

Primary A mandatory recount will occur if the results between the 2nd and 3rd place candidates meet the necessary threshold. There is no mandatory recount for the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes, as they will both move on to the general election.
General A mandatory recount will occur if the results between the 1st and 2nd place candidates meet the necessary threshold.

Recount costs

Mandatory recounts: the state reimburses counties for mandatory recounts for state measures. The county pays for all other mandatory recounts.

Requested recounts: The person or group requesting the recount is responsible for all related costs and must make a deposit at the time of submitting an application. If a full recount reverses the outcome of the race, the deposit is refunded. For a machine recount the deposit amount is equal to 15¢ for each ballot cast. For a manual recount the deposit amount is equal to 25¢ for each ballot cast.