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State Election Board Secretary and Members

The Oklahoma State Election Board was established under the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma in 1907. The term "State Election Board" may refer to either the agency or the three-member board. 
The Board is composed of three members and two alternate members.  An alternate member may serve at any meeting of the Board if a member is unable to attend. 
The members and alternate members are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor from lists provided by the political parties with the largest and second largest number of registered voters. The appointments require the advice and consent of the State Senate.
Although under Oklahoma law the Board is not a "governing" board for the agency, it has many important functions. Its responsibilities include certifying state and federal election results, appointing county election board members, and deciding contests of candidacy.
Administration and governance of the agency is the responsibility of the Secretary of the State Election Board, who is the chief state election official. The Secretary serves a two-year term.

Contact the Secretary or Members of the Board

Phone: (405) 521-2391
Mailing Address: PO Box 53156, Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Paul Ziriax, Edmond
Secretary
Chief state election official

Paul Ziriax 2019
Paul Ziriax (pronounced ZEER'-iks) has served as Secretary of the State Election Board since 2009 and is Oklahoma's chief election official. He is also the Secretary of the State Senate. (Since 1913, Oklahoma law has required the Secretary of the State Senate to serve as the Secretary of the State Election Board.) Ziriax, originally from Claremore, has worked as a senior leadership aide in the State Senate, as chief of staff and press secretary to a Member of Congress, and as a radio station music director and announcer. He is a member of the National Association of State Election Directors and the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries, and is a past appointee to the Capitol Preservation Commission. He is an alumnus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Tom Montgomery, Muskogee
Chairman    

Tom Montgomery 
First appointed in 2012 and reappointed in 2015, Montgomery is the owner of Management Services Inc. He lives and works in Muskogee. Montgomery earned a bachelor’s degree in management and economics from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and has been self-employed since 1978.

Dr. Tim Mauldin, Norman
Vice-Chairman

Dr. Tim Mauldin
Mauldin was appointed as an alternate member of the board in 2011 before being appointed as a regular member in 2015. He has served as a member of the Oklahoma City University faculty since 1979, teaching Oklahoma History and Heritage, American History, American Government and other courses. Mauldin has a master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Georjana, live in Norman and are active volunteers with the American Cancer Society and American Red Cross.

Heather Mahieu Cline, Oklahoma City
Member

Heather Cline
Heather Mahieu Cline is an attorney in private practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ms. Cline received her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1988 and her Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1992. Ms. Cline is admitted to practice law before all courts in the State of Oklahoma, the United States District Court, Western District and the United States Supreme Court. In her free time, Ms. Cline enjoys running agility with her dogs.

Jerry Buchanan, Tulsa
Alternate Member

Jerry Buchanan
Buchanan is the owner of Buchanan Properties, a property investment company, and previously was the CEO and President at JC And Co., also a property investment company. He was first appointed an alternate in 2011 and re-appointed in 2015. He is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Tulsa County, a former president of the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Alumni. Buchanan has a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Honolulu. He served in the U.S. Army as a Drill Sergeant.

Debi Thompson, Carney
Alternate Member

Debi Thompson
Thompson is an accountant and insurance agent in Carney and Chandler. She was appointed in 2015. Thompson is a former member of the Carney School Board and served as president of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association in 2000. She serves as secretary of the American Farmers & Ranchers Agent's Association and is a longtime member and former president of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.
Last Modified on Apr 16, 2021
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