Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall’s(Democrat) office has broken new ground by allowing a candidate to add his photo and statement to the 2016 Primary Voter’s Guide after the deadline has passed.  To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time this has ever happened in Thurston County.  The rules dictating when information must be received by the Auditor’s office is set in stone, and was not flexible.  Until now.  

We the Governed published an article a few days ago providing an outline of the five candidates who filed to run for the Thurston County Commissioner seat, District 1.  We had a copy of the draft Primary Voter’s Guide page from the Thurston County Auditor’s office which had clearly indicated that Allen Miller, one of the most experienced politicians in the race, had failed to get his photo or statement into the Auditor’s office before the deadline.  

Usually, once a draft page like this is sent out to all the candidates running for that office, it becomes a very stringent rule that no further submissions or significant changes can be made to the voter’s guide.  The primary reason for the rigidity of this administrative rule is that if competitive candidates could see their opponent’s statements in advance, then they could adjust their own, and it would provide a competitive advantage to the last candidate.  That rule stood the test of time and prevented any candidate or partisan favoritism until now.

Here is a copy of the original voter’s guide page draft for the Thurston County Commissioner District 1:

Thurston County Voters Guide - Commisioner Position 1
The original 2016 Thurston County Voters Guide – Commission District 1 page – draft – after deadline passed – click here for full size version

As you can plainly see, Allen Miller had no photo and no statement.  This happens all the time in local races, but usually it is considered an amateaur mistake or laziness on the part of the candidate.  We were hard on Allen Miller for this mistake in our article, and his campaign deserved ridicule for this error.  However, Allen Miller contacted me and provided an alternative voter’s guide draft which I’ve attached here:

Modified 2016 Thurston County Voter's Guide Commission District 1 draft - Allen Miller Rule
Modified 2016 Thurston County Voter’s Guide Commission District 1 page 2 after “Allen Miller Rule” invoked. Download full size version here.

After communicating directly with candidate Allen Miller and calling the elections office to get to the bottom of the story, I need to clarify

Allen Miller pulled off an impressive feat getting his photo and statement in the voter's guide. He deserves to celebrate
Allen Miller pulled off an impressive feat getting his photo and statement in the voter’s guide. He deserves to celebrate

this new situation in this race.  Allen Miller’s campaign claims they got a photo and statement submitted in time, but due to a typo in the email address, it was never received by the Auditor’s office.  Again, whether the dog ate the voter’s guide statement or some other tragedy intervened, historically, the excuse hasn’t mattered and a candidate would be out of luck.

However, for the first time ever, it appears that the Thurston County Auditor’s office’s “deadlines” have some flexibility.  We now call this the “Allen Miller Rule.”  Here is how it worked for him, and although I don’t suggest any Republicans try this, if you are a Democrat or have ties to the Auditor’s office, you might pull it off: 

  1. Report that your “statement and photo” that missed the deadline was sent to the wrong address.
  2. Receive your competitor’s photos and statements for reference.
  3. Contact the Auditor’s office and convince them you sent the documents to the wrong address.
  4. Sign an affidavit confirming that you made no changes to your photo or statement after seeing your competitors’ statements.  
  5. Invoke the “Allen Miller Rule” and presto, you are back in the game.

Here is what the voter’s guide statement will actually look like in the final 2016 Thurston County Primary Voter’s Guide:

Final Thurston County Voters Guide - District 1 - page1

Final Thurston County voters guide - district 1 - page2
This is what the final version of the 2016 Thurston Voters Guide will look like for the Commission District 1 race – looks like John Hutchings got the shaft. Download full size version here.
Jim Cooper has been planning his "coronation" for a long time now, and the plans are coming together nicely
Jim Cooper has been planning his “coronation” for a long time now, and the plans are coming together nicely

Jim Cooper gets preferred position on the first page (coincidentally, his wife works in the elections department at the Thurston County Auditor’s office), justly deserved if you are one of the Democrat establishment who have been anticipating his impending “coronation.”  If you want to know more about Jim Cooper see this article we wrote here. It appears that John Hutchings got bounced from the first page to the second page, which is tough for him.  

In the end, Allen Miller deserves kudos for his campaign’s canniness.  Although his campaign amateurishly botched the original statement photo submission process, he rebounded and in coordination with Democrat Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall forged an exception to a longstanding rule, now called the “Allen Miller Rule.”  Impressive new precedent is created, rules are broken, and an interesting election in Thurston County is sure to follow…

Jim Cooper has terrible plans for Thurston County
Jim Cooper has tax, fee, regulatory, and incompetent plans for Thurston County residents…


Our Constitution begins with the phrase “we the people.”  It was the founder’s intent that government be created by the people, to serve the people.  It wasn’t their intention for the people to serve the government.  It was always intended that government which failed to serve the people should be “altered or abolished.”  Until we return to the founder’s intent, we remain We the Governed

For more background on this story and source documents:

The original 2016 Thurston County Primary Voters Guide – Commissioner District 1 draft page – after deadline

The revised 2016 Thurston County Primary Voters Guide – Commission District 1 draft page – post intervention and “Allen Miller Exception” change

The final 2016 Thurston County Primary Voter’s Guide – Commission District 1 draft pages – final version.

The Truth about Jim Cooper

Five candidates battle for Thurston Commissioner Seat, but who are they?

For More Background on Thurston County:

Recent Elections in Thurston County Shock the Political Establishment

The Jim Lazar Loophole – how to beat the Public Disclosure Commission

What Happened to the County Charter Movement?

Thurston County Invents $42,000 pocket gopher tax for new homeowners

Olympia prioritizes housing for sex offenders, felons, and fugitives

Thurston County Manager Cliff Moore quits, will now plague the City of Yakima

Thurston County punishes rural serfs again

Sandra Romero – the $200 million Commissioner

Hunters fighting to stop Thurston County’s gun ordinance

A Plague of Consequences in Thurston County

Thurston County Commissioners Deny the Reality of Math

Olympia Mayor Pro-Tem Joe Hyer Arrested

An embarrassing video about the City of Olympia by Joe Hyer (pre-arrest and conviction)

Washington State Dept. of Financial Institutions Securities Division – Statement of Charges against Joe Hyer

KOMO News – former Olympia Councilman sentenced to jail

Democrats still believe Joe Hyer best Treasurer in the party

Thurston County Bag Ban – Paper or Plastic?

Lawsuit Filed Against Thurston County over Pocket Gopher Process

Stifling Human Ingenuity

Tales of Tyranny – Bert Wasch Story – Thurston County denies his right to build a home for 5 years

Thurston County to Citizens:  Living here is a real gamble

Childish Political Leadership in Thurston County is costing Taxpayers Millions

Thurston County Demonstrates How Not to Build a Jail

Tales of Tyranny – Misti Chastain – Thurston County attempts to destroy her farm business

Tales of Tyranny – Jay Howell – Thurston County costs family thousands of dollars and takes most of the use of their property for a gopher

Tales of Tyranny – Chris Weaver – Thurston County makes him a criminal for hurting a gopher

Union Protests Incompetent Thurston County Commissioner


  1. If you had a icebreaker months ago like Allen T. Miller for Thurston County Commissioner District One, said you were non-partisan, certified yourself and voted in the Presidential Primary Election as a Democrat, and then still run to date as a non-partisan even though you previously certified that you are a Democrat like Allen T. Miller, will you still be invited to Republican events?

  2. My name is Tillie Naputi-Pullar, Thurston County Elections Manager. I want to set the record straight about Mrs. Thomasina Cooper ‘working in the Elections Department’ of the Auditor’s Office. Mrs. Cooper is the Executive Assistant to the County Auditor. Her duties do not include working in the Elections Division. She does not handle anything related to voter registration and election processing for Thurston County. Mrs. Cooper is professional and committed to helping all customers who come to the Auditor’s Office, directing them to the division who can answer their questions.

    My staff and I are dedicated to the elections process. We have checks and balances for everything we do. We pride ourselves on doing the best for all our voters.

    I encourage you (Mr. Morgan) and those following your blog to come to the Ballot Processing Center for a tour of our facility, meet my staff, and observe our processing.

    As for the inclusion of Mr. Allen Miller candidate statement, below is a timeline of events:

    • Statement was emailed on Thursday the 26th before the deadline. It is supported by a copy of the email.
    • Provided a statement of fact signed by his campaign manager.
    • Voters’ pamphlet statement properties prove the statement was finalized and not changed after statements were received.
    • The last modified date on the word document was May 25th.
    • The statement was emailed on the 26th. The statement deadline was May 27th.
    • Proofs were sent to candidates on June 3rd.

    Finally, the order of candidates appearing on the Primary Local Voters’ Pamphlet and Official Ballot was based on lot order.

    • Tillie,

      Your comments are noble. There are individuals in the Auditor’s office who are stellar. But, at this point, you are missing the point in reference to voter’s pamphlet (Allen Miller Rule) and nepotism. The office is demonstrating an attitude that is self-righteous. For example, if a current county commissioner had a spouse in any one of the departments or elected office, they would have to recuse their vote on a policy or budgetary item. Such is the case with Robin Campbell. She is the county’s budget official, not an elected official, but she has a relative in Central Services. Central Services is never scrutinized for funding and this ultimately led to the removal of nine union janitors that Karen Valenzuela voted out. This is a continuing issue.

      Mary Hall should not be naïve enough to think Jim Cooper’s wife can advise and assist Mary Hall while Jim is on the Commission and vote for funding and policy impacting directly to Mary (and Jim’s wife’s) office? Jim and his wife eventually will talk at home, at lunch, in Democrat campaign strategy sessions, and in the hallways. Jim is not going to vote against his wife’s office, which probably makes it political genius for Mary to hire her in the first place.

      Mary Hall states “she is for all people”. Yet, we see and hear her at Democrat fundraisers in the 2nd Legislative District, on the phone to Sam Hunt, and fully supporting Jim Cooper. Mary should realize that there are Democrats who are still upset she came from Pierce County. They mention this occasionally.

      Finally, I believe voters just want Mary Hall to treat everyone the same. Nobody should be above the rules, no matter how politically connected they are.

    • So Cooper’s wife has absolutely no influence where she works? I seem to also miss the part where Miller’s bio in the voter’s pamphlet was blank? I also miss the part where a seasoned politician like Miller waits until last minute to send his bio without any follow-up next day to the deadline? Too many inconsistencies and questions leads to inadequate leadership to which the County Auditor should be explaining as everything reflects on her and not a section in her office which seems to respond about employees who work outside of her department.

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