We often hear the repeated claim that Oklahoma has the safest elections in the nation from Democrats and Republicans alike. But those same people also say that the 2020 election was legitimate.

With the upcoming presidential election and unresolved questions from the 2020 election, the question remains if our election system is truly fair and safe. That question was raised again recently in Oklahoma.

On Wednesday, January 31, two Republican appointees to the Oklahoma County Election Board were removed by the State Election Board in a special board meeting that went into executive session.

Cheryl Williams and Jenni White, the Republican primary and alternate election board members, both serving as volunteers, filed a complaint with the Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary—Paul Ziriax. The complaint questioned the legality of procedures Williams and White witnessed in a special election Dec. 12, 2023.

Williams refused to certify the vote from the election when written proof of a change to the rules was not provided. In question were absentee ballots opened a day earlier than rules established. Three days later, Williams was given a letter from Ziriax, dated the day after the incident, seeming to grandfather in the questionable action.

In response to the filed complaint, Williams and White were called into a meeting which lasted about 10 hours:


  • The meeting was an executive meeting (often used for personnel reprimands) rather than an open meeting. The agenda was about “personnel issues” which means the actual questions of potential violation of procedures raised were not the true focus of the meeting.
  • Williams and White were not informed they needed legal counsel at the meeting, however, the State Election Board had two lawyers present.
  • At the conclusion, both White and Williams were removed by a unanimous vote from the Election Board.
  • Afterwards, the Oklahoma Secretary of Elections, Paul Ziriax, was directed by Chairwoman Heather Cline, to forward the matter for investigation by the Oklahoma District Attorney and/or Oklahoma Attorney General into the two volunteers, who have now had to engage lawyers.

The possible election irregularities brought to light were not the focus of the investigation. William’s actions to not certify the vote seemed to be the focus.

The election integrity questions raised seem to have been ignored. But they wouldn’t be the only questions raised that seem to be swept under the carpet.

Comanche County Chair, U.S. Army Retired SFC, Terry Evans and his wife, Amber, who is the District Committee Woman and Precinct Chair for the Comanche County Republican Party previously submitted evidence of voter roll irregularities to Oklahoma officials including:

  • Utilizing open-source data the Evans’s discovered voter rolls from July 2021 had 207,000 missing registration dates.
  • Missing registration dates, dates of birth, and erratic unformatted addresses cannot be cross-referenced to verify voter eligibility.
  • Concern of how out-of-state organizations could be influencing Oklahoma election procedures and laws.

This was discussed in this interview: (See minute mark 47)

Election analyst and former poll inspector, Bill Schneider also studied Oklahoma election results and called for an investigation regarding absentee ballots. During his research of Oklahoma elections from 2012-2020, Schneider discovered a significant uptrend in Democrat absentee ballots even as the number of registered Democrats in the state went down significantly.



YEAR                   Registered Democrats                   Registered Republicans                           Other

2016           856,817                                                  983,932

2020           750,669 (down 100K)                           1,129,771  (increase of 200k)


2012           19,345 (30.2%)                                     44,662 (33.9%)                                     0%

2016           34,375 (33.9%)                                     60,975 (60.2%)                                    5903 (5.8%)

2020           163,046 (58%)                                      111,171 (39.6%)                                  6668  (2.4%)


The 130,000+ jump in absentee ballots from the Democrat Party in Oklahoma between 2016 & 2020 combined with the 100K decrease in the number of registered Democrat voters at the same time should have been cause in itself for investigation. However, to date, no report has been released by Ziriax or the Attorney General’s office regarding any investigation into the issues listed.

Meanwhile, in Tulsa County, one of the three election board members, Bob Jack, was at one time under investigation for possible absentee ballot harvesting in his failed run for Tulsa County Commissioner in 2022.

An investigation was launched in both Tulsa County and Creek County. Creek County District Attorney, Max Cook ultimately declined to file charges against Jack resulting in Oklahoma Attorney General, Gentner Drummond closing the case based on the determination of the Creek County D.A. However, calls to Tulsa County District Attorney, Steve Kunzweiller’s office, to confirm the status of the Tulsa investigation in which Kunzweiller had recused himself, were not immediately returned. I finally talked to Kunzweiller’s assistant, Kelly and asked the status of the investigation in Tulsa.

“We can’t give out any information on that,” he stated. “Um, but I can let you talk to our media person.”

“Okay well I left a message for the media person two or three days ago and they aren’t very quick to get back with media. Do I have to file a FOIA request just to find out the status of that because we’re coming onto an election and I think Tulsans need to know the status of that because he (Jack) is on the election board.”

Kelly: “Ummm, I can uh talk to them for you and have them call you if they can give out any information.”

Me: “Okay, that would be helpful. I would appreciate that.”

To which I received no call back and no further communication.

But ultimately, the question hasn’t been about whether the investigation into Bob Jack has been closed. It is about the wisdom of appointing someone to the election board who was once investigated for possible absentee ballot harvesting. If the goal is to give Tulsans the perception of transparency, safe elections and that everything is above board in our election process and with our election boards, is that a wise choice?

On the Tulsa County Election Board website it states, “Our mission is to earn and maintain the trust of Tulsa County voters and public officials by being accountable, reliable, and transparent and by delivering timely, accurate election results with strict adherence to Oklahoma Law and our governing ethics.” Yet their transparency falls short of listing who the election board members are.

Gwen Freeman, the Tulsa County Election Board Secretary, was questioned about Jack’s appointment to the position considering his controversial past. She said she knew of no procedure in which citizens could recall Jack. Yet, in Oklahoma County, election board members were removed after posing questions regarding the validity of a recent election. With that removal, one of the former board members, (Williams) was also cited for donating to a Republican candidate while on the election board and told it was a conflict of interest.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond recently cited Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell for a conflict of interest for serving a dual role as both the LG and Oklahoma Secretary of Tourism & Branding. Pinnell has since stepped down from the latter role.

Bob Jack holds multiple roles in addition to his appointed, not elected, position on the Tulsa County Election Board. He is also the Tulsa GOP Treasurer, Tulsa GOP District Committeeman, a Precinct Chair and just Chaired the Rules Committee in Tulsa County—all while simultaneously serving on the Tulsa County Election Board which appears to be a similar conflict of interest.

Something seems very wrong.

As we head into the 2024 elections, Oklahomans are still being told that there are “no issues” with Oklahoma elections. Tulsa County GOP Chair, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, referring to the 2020 election, stated in a recent interview on Fox News, “there were shenanigans that occurred, however in the state of Oklahoma I think everything was just fine.”

In the same broadcast, Oklahoma GOP Chair, Nathan Dahm said, “Oklahoma does have one of the most secure and best election systems.”

But does it?

The seeming lack of transparency and investigation by the State Election Board Secretary and County Election Boards into election irregularities and abnormalities combined with the threat of investigation if questions are raised should make us all question just how safe Oklahoma elections are.


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