Posted by Diane Gallegos on Sep 21, 2020
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Today’s Program: Jon Halvorson - Election Security During COVID-19 and Ballot Inspection
Meeting Called to order: President Sean Padget @ 12:03 pm
Announcement and moment of silence in memory of Joan Houchen who passed away on August 30 at 90 years old.
Invocation by: Jean Clark
On the Wall of Mother Teresa of Calcutta Children’s Home Shishu Bhavan
People are often unreasonable and self -centered
Forgive them anyway
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives
Be kind anyway
If you are honest, people may cheat you
Be honest anyway
If you find happiness, people may be jealous
Be happy anyway
The good you do today may be forgotten
Do good anyway
Give the world your best and it may never be enough
Do your best anyway
For you see, in the end it is between
You and God
It was never between you and them anyway
Mother Teresa
Pledge of Allegiance led by: President Sean Padget
Song: N/A  
Four Way Test led by: Sean Padget
Visiting Rotarians
Guest of Rotarians
World Polio Day
District celebration of World Polio Day will be October 17 at 3PM. Registration is $30.00. President Padget emailed the link to all of us.
Cool Jazz Clean Water
Cool Jazz Clean Water Festival will not take place in 2020 but it is scheduled for November 21, 2021. Dennis Cooper is taking the lead for our club.
Rotary Point Park Clean Up
Matt DeBoer is coordinating a Rotary Point Park Clean Up for October 3 from 9AM-11AM. We will adhere to Phase 3 safety regulations.
Rotary Facemasks
Denise Keegan from the Tumwater Club came across Rotary facemasks and has some available for our club. Contact President Sean Padget (email or call) if you are interested in purchasing a Rotary facemask. He ordered 25 and can get more.
Book Club
Book Club led by Joe Scuderi will meet October 13 at Priest Point Park Rose Pavilion at 5PM. Dress accordingly. Safe social distancing will be followed and this is a great opportunity for fellowship. All are welcome.
Program: Election Security During Covid-19 with a Focus on Ballot Inspection
Presented by Jon Halvorson
Holly Mason introduced Jon and the program. Jon served with the US Air Force Security Service at McChord and in the United Kingdom. Jon earned a BA from Carlton College and a MA from Ball State University England campus, as well as a MSW from UW. Jon served as an administrator at DSHS for 27 ½ years. He served as president of the Public Facilities District for 8 years and was honored with a Living Legend of Thurston Co Award. Jon served in many Lacey leadership positions including the area planning commission, city council where he served as mayor from 1993-1996, Lott, North Thurston Public Schools and Lacey Parks to name a few. He has served on several nonprofit boards, Sons of Norway, and a member of the Kiwanis. He has been married 53 years to his wife Janet and has a daughter and 2 granddaughters.
The mission is to count all votes and ensure accuracy of the vote. Three Thurston Co. auditors have developed these careful procedures. The procedures used in Thurston Co. are now being used in all 39 counties and several other states. Mary Hall and her 10 staff have implemented several options for voting including drive up boxes all over the area. We have 29 drop boxes (includes 2 new boxes) in Thurston Co. and 60 paid temporary staff that work the elections. Security is thorough with a single point of entry into the Thurston Co Elections Department building where the votes are counted.
Due to COVID-19 each worker has their temperature checked when entering the building and has their own supply of gloves and sanitizer – and a red pen. Everything they do in that building is done with red ink only. Plexiglass separates each worker and they alternate teams to reduce the number of people in the building. Everything is sanitized each evening. They process 60,000 ballots every 6 hours and takes several more days to do the work due to fewer people allowed in the building at one time due to COVID-19 safety measures. Ballots are picked up from boxes in locked secure bags several times each day with two people at all times. The bags are emptied into a high-speed sorter and photographed. They are divided by precincts and then bundled. Washington State Patrol fraud unit trains workers to match signatures. If there is a signature challenge the voter is sent a CURE letter – if they do not respond their vote is not counted.
They ensure ballots are grouped by precinct and pull any irregularities such as not completing the ovals or filling in two ovals. Cross outs, circles, or incorrect write-ins result in the ballot being pulled. Pulled ballots are sent to be rechecked by 2 permanent staff. Everything is tracked and videoed by the several cameras in the building. Ballots will be mailed October 9 (a week early). Tally machines are not connected to the internet so there is not a way of hacking into the system. Results can’t be announced until 8PM on election night. You may go to and click on my ballot tab to check on the status of your ballot.
Meeting Adjourned: 12:58 pm by President Sean Padget