Covid is climaxing, the iceman cometh, and we got to learn about elections security.
Notes from the Dec. 29 meeting of
The Rotary Club of Clover Park
Recorded by Tom McClellan
President Teresa Nye welcomed a sparse group of inpersonators and Zoomers, owing to some members being out for the Christmas holiday, and others being out with sore throats.  She thanked Tom Faubion for serving as our greeter, and Mike Killen for honchoing all of the Zoomtronics. 
Because of a prior commitment of our guest speaker, we reversed the order of the meeting, but I will present the meeting events in the traditional order, for the sake of the reader’s understanding.
Inspirational Moment
Jeannie Hill was out with a sore throat, but offered up the following, which were read by Teresa:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  - - - Margaret Mead
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” - - - Albert Schweizer
Sunshine Report
In addition to Jeannie being out with a sore throat, Gretchen Allen was also out with a diagnosis of strep throat.  All of the focus lately has been on Covid, but the old familiar bugs are still with us.  Get well soon, Jeannie and Gretchen.
Karen George checks in remotely: “The general [Bill Harrison] is doing okay, but he’s been battling a monster UTI that just doesn’t want to let up.  Since his stay in the hospital before Thanksgiving, we’ve been battling with his doctor trying to get him set up with IV antibiotics at home.  Thankfully, that was set up and he responded well to treatment and January is now booked with tons of follow up with new doctors and tests to see if this infection is truly done.  It’s been intense and all-consuming.”
Gretchen did pass along a reminder about the membership challenge: Every member needs to bring forward the name of someone who would be a great Rotarian, whether or not we succeed in landing that person as a member.  And the name of Jim Kopriva was read to the club again; he is the communications director for the City of Lakewood. 
Future Programs
Jan. 5              Mike Killen                 How to Lie With Statistics
Jan. 12            Todd Myers                 Environmental legislative update
Jan. 19            Supt. Ron Banner       Clover Park School District Update
President’s Minute:
Given the recent inclement weather and cold temperatures, Teresa Nye asked members for their “snow stories”.
David Cotant stressed the importance of carrying a small amount of sand or cat litter in your car, in case you get stuck.  It can help increase wheel traction on ice. 
Tom McClellan relayed a story of how he and wife Shelley had hoped to fly to Cleveland this past Sunday to visit their son, but were among the passengers on 1000 flights that day which were canceled or delayed.  Tom went back to SeaTac on Monday to retrieve their luggage, among the sea of orphaned suitcases. 
Teresa Nye told a story of a harrowing trip back down from Crystal Mountain, pulling a trailer on icy roads, and nearly getting in accidents more than once.
Ed Trobaugh mentioned that he has a granddaughter in the Lake Tahoe area, which has just gotten a reported 17 feet of snow.
Fun And Fines
Finemaster Ed Trobaugh reminded all December birthday and anniversary holders to get their celebratory contributions in to treasurer Judi Maier, 28 Silver Beach Drive, Steilacoom, WA, 98388.
Ed called upon President Teresa Nye for her longstanding “Nye Owe You”, which no one seems to remember the accumulated total of.  Teresa promised to dash off a check that very day for what she owes.
Teresa noted that she did get the racing tires for Christmas which she had been asking Santa to bring.  It as a little bit of a hectic operation, because husband Chris Nye was intending to bring home the tires (on new rims) and hide them ahead of Christmas in his home office, but Teresa arrived home early that day.  In their haste, Chris and their son let down the tailgate of the truck to unload the tires, only to watch two of them trying to make a run for it, down the driveway, down the street, eventually stopping and submitting to retrieval.
This Week’s Program
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson is a Tacoma Sunrise Rotary Club member, a graduate of Evergreen State College and Northeast University in Boston, who has served as Pierce County Auditor since being elected in 2009. 
She noted that there are important new laws taking effect which relate to elections.  Starting in 2022, the law will allow 16 and 17 year olds to preregister to vote.  And the 17 year olds may be able to vote for certain races in primary elections, provided that such registrants will turn 18 before the general election.  This will necessarily create some ballot-printing complications for her office, to have enough numbers of the right category of ballots not only based on where the voter lives, but which types of elections such a voter may be allowed to cast votes in under this new law
Another new law stipulates that any public 4-year college or university must have a student engagement/voting center on campus.  It should provide access to the Voter Pamphlet, and be able to collect ballots.  It is expected to expand to other types of colleges and perhaps homeless resource providers during the 2022 legislative session.
Washington now has same-day registration as of 2019.  The auditor’s office will verify eligibility before counting such ballots.  1500 people signed up and voted same-day in 2020, which made for a challenging day for the auditor’s office.
Julie noted that there is increased public interest in election integrity.  This has resulted in several groups of people doing public records requests concerning the counting machines, the type of paper used for ballots, the chain of custody, etc.  This has created a lot of work for the auditor’s office to fulfill these records requests, especially since a lot of them require redaction of sensitive information regarding identities and access codes.
The ERIC system (Electronic Registration Information Consortium, includes 31 states plus the D.C., and it shares data among the member states to find duplicate voters.  This can lead to prosecutions, but due to the push for completion of vote counting as soon as possible after voting day, some fraudulent votes do end up getting counted. 
The auditor’s office is very good at eliminating votes by dead people, much to the surprise of some widows and widowers who have submitted “votes” for their recently deceased spouses.  Voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.  But punishments usually do not go that far. 
Julie mentioned the strong security involved in the County’s voter drop boxes, which have tight chain of custody, down to GPS tracking of the collectors’ positions.  2 person teams collect the ballots, and take photos of the seal numbers which are automatically uploaded along with their positions. 
Mailed ballots do not quite have the same level of custody security, but they are working on that.  You can go online at to see the status of your ballot. 
Julie offered tours of the voting center, and is willing to take any additional questions via email.
This Week’s Raffle
With $106 in the pot, Tom McClellan took advantage of this week’s sparse attendance by buying extra tickets.  He was able to draw the Ace of Spades, winning the pot. 
And Finally
There is an important deadline approaching, according to the IRS's own web site:
So if you have any stolen items, you had better return them before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, or else you will have to declare them as taxable income at the "fair market value".  Please consult your tax advisor for how to determine the fair market value of stolen property.
Also, if you may have perhaps stolen a large bundle of illicit drugs from a drug dealer during 2021, you should check with an expert about whether you need to report that "gain" to the IRS at the wholesale or retail (street value) pricing.  Your humble scribe will refrain from opining about such accounting decisions.  You should also seek expert guidance about the deductibility of any expenses which may have been incurred in the process of conducting such a theft, including the procurement of tools and equipment, and perhaps salaries of henchmen, although such salaries may be subject to employment withholding under your State employer ID.  But in any case, don't forget the Dec. 31 IRS deadline for returning any such stolen property to avoid taxation on it.