The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 2, 2014

Patterson picked to lead Garfield County Election Board

ENID, Okla. — The next secretary of Garfield County Election Board will be Cheryl A. Patterson.

Patterson was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of the Oklahoma State Election Board in Oklahoma City. She was nominated by state Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid. Her appointment will take effect Aug. 1, when current Secretary Roy Schneider retires.

As her confirmation drew near, Patterson took over a vacant clerk’s role at the election board to learn more about the office and duties. The secretary position is a full-time job, though, so another clerk could be hired soon.

Patterson’s appointment forces changes to two local public bodies. She will resign from her elected position with Enid Public Schools Board of Education, which will open a position there.

State law also forbids county election board secretaries from serving if a close relative is on the ballot in that county. Her husband, Wade, is Garfield County assessor.

When reached Wednesday, Wade Patterson confirmed he plans on retiring when his current term expires in four years. He was re-elected without opposition this year.

Before her appointment as chief election official of the county, Cheryl Patterson worked as director of the Vance Air Force Base Child Development Center. She has 12 years in management and has worked as a contract first aid and CPR instructor at Autry Technology Center for two decades.

“More than anything, I’ve always been interested in anything that goes on in Enid. I love Enid. I love northwest Oklahoma. I’ve lived here all my life, so anything I can do to serve the people of this county, I’m all up for that,” Patterson said.

She has a lot to learn in the next month from Schneider, who will retire after serving in the position for more than two years. To get more of a perspective on the election process, Patterson observed the June 24 primary election.

“There’s a lot to it — a lot of data entry and filing, planning ahead for the next election immediately,” Patterson said.

She’ll have a quick turnaround. Just 26 days after she takes the secretary position, a runoff election will be held.

“I am honored to be appointed to serve on the election board team,” Patterson said. “Voting is an amazing privilege that we have as Americans. My hope is to continue to make voting a smooth and easy process for the citizens of Garfield County — every vote, every time.”

The office is getting a new assistant secretary, too. Current clerk Sheila Mills will take over the board’s No. 2 spot.

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