130th Ohio General Assembly
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(125th General Assembly)
(Substitute Senate Bill Number 79)



AN ACT
To amend sections 3513.254 and 3513.255 and to enact section 3513.256 of the Revised Code to permit boards of education and governing boards of educational service centers to adopt, for the purpose of nominating candidates for those boards, procedures for a nonpartisan primary election.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 3513.254 and 3513.255 be amended and section 3513.256 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 3513.254. (A) The name of each candidate for member of a city, local, or exempted village board of education or for member of a governing board of an educational service center described in section 3311.051 of the Revised Code shall appear on the nonpartisan ballot. Nominating petitions of candidates for member of a board of education of a local or exempted village school district or for member of a governing board of an educational service center described in section 3311.051 of the Revised Code shall be signed by twenty-five qualified electors of the school district or educational service center service area. Nominating petitions for candidates for member of a board of education of a city school district having a population of less than twenty thousand, as ascertained by the next preceding federal census, shall be signed by twenty-five qualified electors of the school district. Nominating petitions for candidates for member of a board of education of a city school district having a population of twenty thousand or more but less than fifty thousand, as ascertained by the next preceding federal census, shall be signed by seventy-five qualified electors of the school district. Nominating petitions for candidates for member of a board of education of a city school district having a population of fifty thousand or more but less than one hundred thousand, as ascertained by the next preceding federal census, shall be signed by one hundred fifty qualified electors of the school district. Nominating petitions for candidates for member of a board of education of a city school district having a population of one hundred thousand or more, as ascertained by the next preceding federal census, shall be signed by three hundred qualified electors of the school district.

(B) Nominating petitions shall be filed with the board of elections not later than four p.m. of the seventy-fifth day before the day of the general election, provided that no such petition shall be accepted for filing if it appears to contain signatures aggregating in number more than three times the minimum number of signatures required by this section. A board of elections shall not accept for filing a nominating petition of a person if that person, for the same election, has already filed a declaration of candidacy, a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, or a nominating petition, or has become a candidate through party nomination at a primary election or by the filling of a vacancy under section 3513.30 or 3513.31 of the Revised Code for any other position as a member of a city, local, or exempted village board of education or position as a member of a governing board of an educational service center, or for a municipal or township office. When a petition of a candidate has been accepted for filing by a board of elections, the petition shall not be deemed invalid if, upon verification of signatures contained in the petition, the board of elections finds the number of signatures accepted exceeds three times the minimum number of signatures required. A board of elections may discontinue verifying petitions when the number of verified signatures equals the minimum required number of qualified signatures.

(C) This section is subject to section 3513.256 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 3513.255.  This section does not apply to candidates for election to a governing board of an educational service center described in section 3311.051 of the Revised Code. This section is subject to section 3513.256 of the Revised Code. The name of each candidate for election as a member of a governing board of an educational service center shall appear on the nonpartisan ballot. Each nominating petition shall be signed by fifty qualified electors who reside in one of the following, as applicable:

(A) The school districts over which the educational service center governing board has jurisdiction, in the case of any candidate running for a position on any educational service center governing board other than a governing board established in accordance with section 3311.054 of the Revised Code;

(B) The subdistrict in which the candidate is running, in the case of a position on a governing board of an educational service center established in accordance with section 3311.054 of the Revised Code.

Each nominating petition shall be filed with the board of elections of the county in which the central administrative offices of the educational service center governing board are located not later than four p.m. of the seventy-fifth day before the day of the general election, provided that no such petition shall be accepted for filing if it appears to contain signatures aggregating in number more than three times the minimum number of signatures required by this section. A board of elections shall not accept for filing a nominating petition of a person if that person, for the same election, has already filed a declaration of candidacy, a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, or a nominating petition, or has become a candidate through party nomination at a primary election or by the filling of a vacancy under section 3513.30 or 3513.31 of the Revised Code for any other position as a member of a governing board of an educational service center or position as a member of a city, local, or exempted village board of education, or for a municipal or township office. When a petition of a candidate has been accepted for filing by a board of elections, the petition shall not be deemed invalid if, upon verification of signatures contained in the petition, the board of elections finds the number of signatures accepted exceeds three times the minimum signatures required. A board of elections may discontinue verifying petitions when the number of verified signatures equals the minimum required number of qualified signatures.

Sec. 3513.256. (A) Notwithstanding any provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, for the purpose of nominating candidates for a position as a member of the board of education of a city, local, or exempted village school district or a position as a member of a governing board of an educational service center, the board may adopt, by resolution upon a three-fifths majority vote of its total membership, procedures for a nonpartisan primary election. Such procedures shall specify the following:

(1) That the primary election for nominating candidates for a position as a member of that board shall be held on the same day as the primary election for nominating all other candidates for public office in that year;

(2) That nominating petitions shall be filed with the board of elections not later than four p.m. of the seventy-fifth day before the day of the primary election;

(3) That the primary election shall take place only if the number of candidates for nomination for a position on that board, as verified by the board of elections, is at least one more than two times the number of available positions on that board at the general election;

(4) That the number of candidates advancing from the primary election to the general election shall equal two times the number of available positions on that board at the general election.

The board shall notify the board of elections upon adoption of a resolution under this division. No such resolution shall apply for a particular election unless the resolution is adopted at least one hundred twenty days prior to the deadline specified in the resolution to become a candidate for nomination at that election. Subject to division (B) of this section, the resolution shall apply to all subsequent nominations for a position as a member of that board.

(B) Not earlier than five years after the adoption of a resolution under division (A) of this section, the board of education of a city, local, or exempted village school district or the governing board of an educational service center may rescind that resolution by subsequent resolution upon a three-fifths majority vote of its total membership.

The board shall notify the board of elections of any resolution adopted under this division. No such resolution shall apply to a particular election unless the resolution is adopted at least one hundred twenty days prior to the deadline to become a candidate for nomination at that election under the nomination procedures the resolution is rescinding. Subject to division (D) of this section, the requirements of Chapter 3513. of the Revised Code shall apply to all subsequent nominations for a position as a member of that board.

(C) Any candidate nominated pursuant to a resolution adopted under division (A) of this section shall appear on the nonpartisan ballot at the general election as prescribed in sections 3505.04, 3513.254, and 3513.255 of the Revised Code.

(D) Nothing in this section prohibits or shall be construed to prohibit the board of education of a city, local, or exempted village school district or the governing board of an educational service center that has rescinded a resolution under division (B) of this section from subsequently adopting the same or different procedures for a nonpartisan primary election by adopting a resolution under division (A) of this section.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 3513.254 and 3513.255 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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