A death in the family kept former Chelan County Auditor Evelyn Arnold from attending her own going-away party this fall.
So she said she felt unsettled, as if she hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye, before leaving for her new job as King County elections supervisor.
After 19 years as county auditor, she couldn’t just walk away though. She has kept in touch with her former employees, particularly through the November general election.
Meanwhile, Arnold was overseeing an election on a much grander scale. Nearly 600,000 ballots were cast in King County in the general election, considerably more than the 20,600 cast in Chelan County. King County hired more than 400 temporary workers to carry out the election, compared to a handful of people hired in Chelan County.
“The size is very, very different here,” she said.
Arnold said her department was able to reconcile all the signatures on the ballots, which means all the ballots were legitimate. It was the first time the county has been able to do it in a large, countywide election since the bungled 2000 governor’s race, which highlighted significant flaws in the county’s election system.
“We’ve really been working hard on that,” Arnold said.
Arnold said she is happy with her move, calling it an “exciting career change.”
She works at an office in Tukwila, near Boeing Field, and commutes from an apartment she shares with her husband and daughter in Kirkland. They return to their home in Dryden every weekend.
“It’s a growing experience for me,” she said. “This is just elections, and I love elections.
“But I also miss the Courthouse and the people there, the friends I’ve made over the years.”
So when her former deputy auditor, Skip Moore, was appointed to replace her as auditor, Arnold decided to make a surprise visit to his celebration party on the day before Thanksgiving.
“It was good to see everyone,” she said. “I haven’t lost them. I’ve just gained a lot more friends over here, too.”
Michelle McNiel: 664-7152