OLYMPIA — Secretary of State Kim Wyman will present the 2018 Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award to former Governor Dan Evans and former Secretary of State Ralph Munro this Sunday, Feb. 3, in Washington, D.C., at the winter conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Governor Evans and Secretary Munro are the first Washingtonians to receive this national award, which is named after Margaret Chase Smith, the former U.S. Senator from Maine. Senator Smith bravely spoke out against fellow Senator Joseph P. McCarthy’s Red Scare tactics in the 1950s. Wyman nominated the pair last year for their work to help thousands of refugees displaced by the Vietnam War make new homes and lives in Washington state.
In her letter nominating the two, Wyman called the action “one of the state’s finest hours” and recounted how Governor Evans sent his then-intern Munro to Camp Pendleton to find how Washington could help the refugees.
“America is a nation of immigrants, and our great state’s leadership understood that,” Secretary Wyman said. “The resettlement of thousands of South Vietnamese refugees by Washington during a controversial period shows the kindness and generosity of not only our state, but also the importance of true public service. It is an incredible honor to recognize former Governor Evans and Secretary Munro with this prestigious award.”
Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.