Thurston County to revamp maintenance policies on Yelm precincts


The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) met with the Auditor’s Election Division yesterday to receive updates on next year’s Precinct Maintenance Plan.

Precinct adjustments based on legislation

At present, the county has 286 voting precincts, which are maintained or corrected based on legislative measures.

RCW 29A.16.040 mandates that no changes may be made during the period starting 14 days before the Primary Election’s first day of filing of candidacy, and no precinct may exceed 1,500 active registered voters.

RCW 29A.16.050 defines the boundaries of a precinct to be within a single congressional district, a single legislative district, a single district of a county legislative authority, and, if applicable, a single city; and that every voting precinct must be composed of continuous and compact areas.

City of Yelm annexations

“The elections team is in the process of changing precinct maintenance. These changes are necessary adjustments for the City of Yelm precincts for their annexations that were made after we had completed this year's precinct maintenance,” Elections Manager Tillie Naputi-Pullar said. “We couldn't get it in this year, and with our timeline next year, this is the only opportunity we have to make these changes.”

The division requests the board to schedule a public hearing on December 12 during the next BoCC meeting on November 21.

Lead Elections Technician Lynne Watanabe explained the 2024 maintenance plan and the changes to the City of Yelm.

“There are no changes to the boundaries of the county commissioner’s districts that were approved in 2022. The area we are looking at is the City of Yelm. It did go through annexations and there is one boundary correction,” said Watanabe.

There are five annexations for Yelm on the Railway Road, Vancil-Morris Road, Grove Road (two areas), and State Route 507 SE. There is also one boundary correction between Yelm’s Fristoe and Yelm 1 precincts.

End results of proposed adjustments

“The approximate voters affected is 16, we added one precinct, and we are adding one legal description. The precinct Boundary Adjustments due to City of Yelm Annexations and Precinct Boundary Adjustments is five, the Precinct Legal Descriptions Amended due to the Yelm Annexations and Boundary Adjustments is five. And we do have to update commissioner district 2 legal descriptions to add the new City of Yelm precinct,” reported Watanabe.

The Board of County Commissioners received updates on precinct maintenance from the Auditor’s Election Division.
The Board of County Commissioners received updates on precinct maintenance from the Auditor’s Election Division.


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