Top honor for Pierce County elections manager

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed honored Lori Augino of the Pierce County Auditor’s Office as the County Election Employee of the Year during a statewide conference Wednesday.

Augino, who joined the Auditor’s Office in 1995, has served as Pierce County’s Election Manager since 2000.

Reed praised Augino for managing the unique challenges of Pierce County’s 2008 election cycle. Augino had to implement programs to educate voters about two new voting systems: the statewide Top Two primary in August and Pierce County’s Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) system in November, which required a separate ballot for County races. On an Election Day that featured an historic voter turnout, Pierce County was the only county in the state to count ballots for both the traditional election as well as the new RCV election.

Reed noted that Augino had to manage all of that amid the intense attention to the hotly contested governor’s race as well as the increased scrutiny of Pierce County’s election office that came because then-Auditor Pat McCarthy was a candidate for the highly competitive race for County Executive.