By Conrad Dudderar
Longtime Canadian County Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold has resigned her position with about seven months left in the term.
Armold informed Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax of her decision in a letter dated Sept. 14.
“Please know that as of today, I have decided that it would be best for my health if I left my position as Secretary of the Canadian County Election Board immediately,” Armold wrote in the letter.
“Please accept this letter of resignation and please know I regret the short notice; however, it is time for me to remove this position and my duties from the top of my priority list and replace those priorities with me and my family.”
The current term expires April 30, 2023.
Ziriax has exercised his statutory authority to “temporarily assume administrative supervision” over the Canadian County Election Board, according to State Election Board spokeswoman Misha Mohr.
“In the short term, Secretary Ziriax has delegated the authority to maintain day-to-day operations to Canadian County Election Board Assistant Secretary Allen Arnold, who reports to the secretary on a daily basis,” Mohr said.
Arnold has worked 17 years for Canadian County, with 13 years at the election board.
Canadian County Commissioners, at their Sept. 19th meeting, acknowledged the designation of Shelly Wigington and Arnold as receiving officers and Jennifer Schweitzer and Jill Ray as requisitioning officers at the Canadian County Election Board.
A change was needed due to Armold’s resignation. She was one of the requisitioning officers for the Canadian County Election Board.
“Bless her heart, she worked a long time – 30-something years,” Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson said.
Armold’s decision to step down before the current term ends “wasn’t all that big of a surprise” because she was approaching retirement, he added.
“She had been contemplating that for a while,” Anderson said.
Armold worked at the Canadian County Election Board for 37 years. She was first appointed secretary in 2009.
STATE ELECTION BOARD’S DUTY
It is the Oklahoma State Election Board’s duty to appoint a new election board secretary for Canadian County.
The State Election Board appoints the secretary of each county election board for four-year terms that start May 1, according to state statute.
“The senator(s) in that area will recommend somebody and that will go before the State Election Board,” Mohr said.
Several Oklahoma state senators represent parts of Canadian County.
District 18 State Sen.-elect Jack Stewart, R-Yukon, is due to take office within two weeks of the Nov. 8th general election.
Having served more than 12 years as a Canadian County commissioner, Stewart may a major say on who is recommended for Armold’s successor.