– Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall was named the 2020 Auditor of the Year by Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Wyman presented the award to Hall during the 2021 Washington Association of County Auditors annual meeting held earlier this week.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thurston County Auditor's Office stood up a drive-thru Voting Center on the South Puget Sound Community College Campus. "When it became evident COVID-19 would pose significant obstacles to voter access and safety, Auditor Hall stepped up to coordinate a safe place for her staff and Thurston County voters," Wyman said. "From organizing a drive-up service, to equipping staff with necessary PPE to keep them and customers safe at all times, her team took every precaution to prepare for the influx of in-person activity."
"There is no way I earned this award alone. The staff we have at the Auditor's Office are a dedicated and unique group," Hall said. "We knew we had to pivot hard at the beginning of the pandemic. They did not blink for a second."
The same drive-thru model at SPSCC was later successfully used by the county public health department to deliver COVID-19 vaccines.
Wyman also pointed to Hall's legislative record, which included leading the effort to secure state funding for elections and expand access to the ballot. For years, while local jurisdictions paid their elections cost, the state did not pick up their share.
"Aside from her many preparations for the 2020 election, Auditor Hall remains a leader in legislative efforts related to elections and is committed to sharing with legislators and the public the painstaking work of election officials to keep our elections free, fair, and secure," Wyman said.
Hall was also instrumental in passing Same Day Voter Registration, expanding Automatic Voter Registration, Pre-registration, and Universal Registration. These tools made voting in Washington State the most accessible and secure in the country.
Last year, Hall was also awarded the President's Award for Outstanding Service, and Heavy Hitter Award by her fellow county auditors in recognition of her legislative efforts.