In an emotional speech, Washington Secretary of the State Kim Wyman honored Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall as Washington State Auditor of the Year for her efforts in ensuring safe and transparent elections.
Wyman presented the award to the county auditor at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Mon., Aug. 30. The award is given annually in recognition of the most outstanding auditor across the state.
Wyman shared that Hall and her team were able to rise to recent election challenges, despite accusations of nationwide voter fraud, foreign and cybersecurity threats, civil unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a shelter-in-place order.
The secretary of state also shared that election officials were able to overcome “comprehensive misinformation and disinformation campaigns," adding, “all these accusations being made even before a single ballot was actually printed,” Wyman said.
In addition, Wyman also recognized Hall’s performance, especially in helping the state to conduct a successful VoteWa campaign, a program that allows residents to register to vote and track their ballots. “Mary stepped up and was willing to show some leadership within the Auditor’s Association...so we could get through 2020 together,” Wyman stated.
She also praised Hall’s efforts in turning the South Puget Sound Community College into a voting center as well as the county’s innovative approach towards maintaining social distancing guidelines, such as allowing voters to cast their ballots in a drive-through.
In her acceptance speech, Hall also thanked her staff, “I have the most amazing staff on the planet, I mean we know we are the best in the state,” and shared that a key to a successful election is attention to detail.
Other government officials, including Sen. Sam Hunt, participated in the meeting and thanked Hall for her service.
State award follows national recognition
In May this year the Thurston County Auditor's Office received the Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for its program titled, "COVID Response in Elections: 2020 Drive-Thru Voting Center and Ballot Processing Center.”