First Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee
On July 14, 2003, the King County Council adopted Ordinance 14711, to establish the CEOC (“the first CEOC”) to provide citizen oversight of the operation and management of the Elections section of the King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division.
The first CEOC was initially composed of nine voting members who served an eight-month term. In Ordinance 14728, adopted on July 28, 2003, Council authorized four additional members to serve on the first CEOC, totaling 13 members. The first CEOC expired on March 31, 2004.
Second Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee
In April 2005, Council adopted Ordinance 15157, to reconvene the CEOC (“the second CEOC”) to continue to provide citizen oversight of the operation and management of the Elections section.
The membership of the second CEOC was composed of 14 members, which included four changes when compared to the composition of the first CEOC: (1) the King County School District representative was replaced with a representative from a junior taxing district, (2) the Secretary of State representative became an ex-officio/nonvoting member, (3) an ex-officio/nonvoting representative from the Washington State Association of County Auditors was added, and (4) a representative from an independent research and policy institute was added by eliminating one at-large representative. The second CEOC dissolved on February 28, 2006.
Ongoing Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee
In May 2006, Council adopted Ordinance 15453, to reconvene the CEOC (“the ongoing CEOC”) to provide ongoing oversight of elections. The ongoing CEOC membership composition was the same as the second CEOC membership composition with the following exceptions: (1) the addition of a representative from the Vietnamese-speaking community; and (2) the addition of representatives from language minority communities that the director of the Bureau of the Census determines by publication in the Federal Register that King County is required to provide minority language assistance under the Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. The ongoing CEOC is required to meet at least quarterly. The members serve a three-year term.
The ongoing CEOC is required to complete the following tasks:
- Review recent reports on elections and recent legislation that affects elections standards, procedures, equipment and technologies
- Conduct oversight of the implementation of new standards or procedures for elections as mandated by federal, state or county legislation; and
- Monitor the Primary and General elections and canvassing board meetings to observe if proper procedures are followed, to report on any problems that are observed or come to light, to recommend corrective actions on problems that may arise and to ensure that any problems that arise are discussed in an open and public manner.
The ongoing CEOC is required to report any significant problems that might occur or on any serious concerns it may have to the Council in a timely way. In addition, the ongoing CEOC must submit a report to the Council on its observations, findings and recommendations regarding the Primary and General elections by February 1 of each year.
Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee Membership Composition Proposal
On July 24, 2018, the CEOC Chair Ellen Hansen presented the CEOC’s adopted membership composition proposal to the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. The CEOC proposed to eliminate the representative for each of the following categories:
- Independent research and policy institute;
- Junior taxing district;
- Washington State Democratic Party;
- Washington State Republican Party; and
- Washington State Association of County Auditors (ex-officio)
In addition, the CEOC proposed to add a representative for each of the following categories:
- Spanish-speaking community;
- Korean-speaking community;
- Disability community;
- Jurisdictional representative (e.g., junior taxing district, city with a population under 20,000);
- At-large registered voter (CEOC had two existing at-large representatives);
- An academic institution who has knowledge of elections; and
- A representative who has experience in technology
In July 2018, the CEOC also transmitted to Council a letter in support of the addition of a representative from the African American community. The CEOC’s proposal had 16 members, which included one ex-officio member.
In September of 2018, the Council took action to update the membership of the CEOC via Ordinance 18795.