The Vote! Past, Present, Future

The Thurston County LWV, with sponsorships from the Thurston County Chapter of NOW, the YMCA Youth in Government Program, the ZONTA Club of Scouth Puget Sound, and the Thurston County Auditor's Office, held a Community Conversation.  This event, which recognized the centennial of Women's Right to Vote, what held on February 29, 2020 at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy.   

The event kicked off  with a very informative and engaging presentation by Mary Hall, Thurston County Auditor, who talked about how the vote came to be, who got to vote and who didn’t, and what elections currently look like in Washington State and across the nation.





Following the Auditor’s presentation, approximately 30 participants divided up among seven (7) round tables. Each table had a facilitator and a scribe and was asked to address, and record participant’s responses to, three (3) questions. The “conversation” at each table followed established procedures to ensure that everyone had an equal opportunity to speak and felt free to express their viewpoints in a safe environment.


Not all tables were assigned the same questions, except for the final question, which every table was asked to respond to in a “lightening round”. The questions and the number of tables assigned to that question were:

  1. How do you decide who to vote for or how to vote on issues? (1)
  2. What sources of information, if any, do you use to help you decide? Are there channels of information that you think are missing? What resources have you found helpful? (1)
  3. Do you think your vote makes a difference? Why or why not? (1) 
  4. What obstacles to voting do you perceive? (1) 
  5. Other than voting, what do you think are the most effective ways for your voice to be heard? Share your stories. (2) 
  6. How do you discern between fact, fiction or opinion? (2)
  7. What do you think would motivate more people to vote? (3) 
  8. Which is more important to you — issues or candidates? (2) 
  9. What changes to our current system of voting would make voting easier? (1) 
  10. What issues are important to you in the next few years — in your county? In Washington State? In the nation? (All 7 tables)



To see the responses to the Community Conversations click here.


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