Miss Hale is going to Washington.


February 29, 2024

The Washington State Legislature that is.

Wahkiakum High School senior Lilian Hale will act as proxy for her step-father, Washington State Representative Joel McEntire during the final days of the current session of the legislature.

It took approval from the county commissioners of all six of the District 19 counties represented by McEntire. It seems they were entirely amenable, including the three commissioners from her own county, Wahkiakum, who voted on the matter at their regular meeting on February 20.

“It’s a great opportunity that is only awarded to legislative members that have to be absent for military duty,” Wahkiakum County Commissioner Lee Tischer said.

There is language in our law, McEntire explained during a phone call on Tuesday, that when someone is doing military work, a proxy can be appointed for the remainder of that term.

“I received some military orders which take place the last few days of session, so I would be missing those days and wouldn’t be able to vote,” McEntire said.

“[It] will only amount to a day or two of votes,” he added. “It’s only happened a handful of times. It could be any registered voter in the district, but typically it’s been the spouse.”

A new addition to the family is keeping his wife at home right now, so after a little bit of thought, he asked his step-daughter.

“Lilian said she would be willing to do that,” McEntire said. “She turns 18 in the first week of March and just barely makes the deadline to be able to do it. I think it will be a neat opportunity for her.”

“All of the votes are called conference concurrences, so there is nothing really fancy going on,” he said. “You are just aligning your language in your bills in the house with the language of the senate. It’s almost very ceremonial. There is nothing super impactful about it. I think it’s a very fitting thing.”

Hale will be the youngest person to ever vote on the floor, McEntire said.


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