The presidential primary shall be conducted using ranked choice voting, unless a party has fielded two or fewer candidates, in which case the presidential primary for that party shall be conducted in substantially the same manner as a state primary under this title.
A presidential primary conducted using ranked choice voting must meet the following requirements:
The ballot must allow a voter to rank candidates in order of preference.
The ballot must allow a voter to rank at least five candidates per office. The secretary of state must adopt rules that determine the maximum number of candidates that a voter is allowed to rank on a ballot.
County auditors are responsible for duplicating ballots and resolving questions about the voter's intent as provided in RCW 29A.60.125. However, county auditors shall not tabulate the results of the election. Instead, auditors shall collect and process ballots and certify the cast vote record data, and auditors shall send the certified cast vote record data to the secretary of state for tabulation.
The secretary of state shall tabulate the results of the election using the instant runoff voting method as defined in this section and further provided in rules of the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall publish the results, including each round of counting ballots.
When tabulating ballots, the secretary of state must observe the following rules:
A ballot shall be counted regardless of how many candidates the voter ranks. The secretary shall not assign votes for rankings made by a voter that are greater than the maximum number of rankings allowed.
If a voter skips one number in ranking candidates, the secretary shall assign any votes after the skipped number to the voter's next-highest ranked candidates as if the voter had not skipped the number. If a voter skips two or more consecutive numbers, the secretary shall not assign any votes after the skipped numbers.
If a voter provides the same number ranking to more than one candidate, the secretary may not assign that vote ranking to any candidate and may not assign a vote for any subsequent number ranking for that office.
The secretary of state shall adopt rules to administer this section. The secretary's rules must address, at minimum:
Procedures for tabulating votes under the instant runoff voting method; and
The maximum number of candidates a voter is allowed to rank as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
The secretary of state shall develop educational materials for the public and provide training for county auditors to implement ranked choice voting for the presidential primary.
As used in this section:
"Ranked choice voting" means a system of counting votes in which votes are tabulated based on a voter's ranking of candidates in order of preference as provided in this section.
"Instant runoff voting method" means a system of counting votes in which the ballots are counted in rounds simulating a series of runoffs until the only candidates remaining have received sufficient votes to pass the threshold to receive delegates set by the parties in advance of the election under RCW 29A.56.050.
The arrangement and form of presidential primary ballots must be established by administrative rule adopted under RCW 29A.04.620, and in consultation with the major political parties. The format of the ballot must comply with section 1 of this act. Only the candidates who have been submitted under RCW 29A.56.031 may appear on the ballots.
Each party's ballot or portion of the ballot must list alphabetically the names of all candidates for the office of president for that party. The ballot must clearly indicate the political party of each candidate.
If requested by a party chair, the ballot for that party must contain a place for a voter to indicate a preference for having delegates to the party's national convention remain uncommitted. A request under this subsection must be submitted to the secretary of state no later than sixty-three days before the presidential primary.
Notice for the presidential primary must be published in the manner described by RCW 29A.52.355.
A major political party may, under national or state party rules, base the allocation of delegates from this state to the national nominating convention of that party in whole or in part on the participation in precinct caucuses and conventions conducted under the rules of that party.
If a political party is basing the allocation of delegates from this state in whole or in part on the results of a presidential primary conducted under this chapter, the political party must inform the secretary of state, prior to the primary, what percentage of votes a candidate must receive as a threshold to receive delegates.
If requested by a major political party, the secretary of state shall adopt rules under RCW 29A.04.620 to provide for any declaration required by that party.
Voters who subscribe to a specific political party declaration under this section may vote only for a candidate of that party. Each list of candidates on ballots must be readily distinguishable from the list of candidates for any other party. Votes cast by persons making these declarations must be tabulated and reported separately from other votes cast at the primary and may be used by a major political party in its allocation of delegates under the rules of that party.
For a political party that requires a specific voter declaration under this section, the secretary of state shall prescribe rules for providing, to the state and county committees of that political party, a copy of the declarations or a list of the voters who participated in the presidential nominating process of that party.
No voting system or voting device shall be approved by the secretary of state unless it:
Secures to the voter secrecy in the act of voting;
Permits the voter to vote for any person for any office and upon any measure that he or she has the right to vote for;
Correctly registers all votes cast for any and all persons and for or against any and all measures;
Provides that a vote for more than one candidate cannot be cast by one single operation of the voting device or vote tally system except when voting for president and vice president of the United States or in an election using ranked choice voting; and
Has been tested and certified by an independent testing authority designated by the United States election assistance commission**, except:**
For functions or capabilities unique to this state;
For stand-alone components of voting systems that have been tested by an independent testing authority designated by the United States election assistance commission but that cannot be officially "certified" because the authority can certify only complete voting systems.