Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman announces 2012 campaign for Secretary of State.
OLYMPIA -- After waiting a respectable 48 hours after her old boss got out of the 2012 Secretary of State race, Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman got in it Thursday.
Wyman told a press gaggle in Olympia she would be running to replace Sam Reed, who also preceded her as Thurston County Auditor. She said she wants to modernize the voter registration by moving from paper registration to a more computer-based system, one that would eventually jibe with other states, allowing for better checks of voter rolls across state lines.
She said she has few disagreements with Reed, who is retiring after 12 years in the post. She doesn't agree with him that all ballots in the state's vote-by-mail system should be in elections officials' hands by 8 p.m. on Election Night to be counted. She would let the ballots continue to be received and counted as long as they are mailed by then, as the law now allows, but thinks the delays in reaching a final count could be reduced by making the system more efficient.
Wyman said she doesn't agree with the Legislature's decision to take money set aside for a Heritage Center in Olympia to help keep the Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane and the State History Museum in Tacoma open. That decision has put the planned Heritage Center on hold.
"I was disappointed they chose to sweep the funding for the Heritage Center," she said. "You've robbed Paul to pay Peter. But the Legislature has the ability to do that."
The state doesn't have a widespread problem with illegal immigrants and other ineligible residents registering to vote, but it does have to address a "perception" that problem exists, Wyman said. It's unlikely that most illegal immigrants would walk into a government agency to register to vote and risk being caught and deported, she said.
Wyman, 48, was the Thurston County elections manager before being appointed county auditor in 2001 when Reed was elected to the state job. She has held the auditor's post ever since, with her last re-election in 2010, and currently is the only Republican in county office in Thurston County.