130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 224  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 224


Representatives Dovilla, Stinziano 

Cosponsors: Representatives Mecklenborg, Adams, J., Rosenberger, Pillich, Thompson, Wachtmann, Grossman, Combs, Murray, Butler, Maag, Uecker 



A BILL
To amend sections 3511.02, 3511.021, 3511.04, and 3511.14 and to enact section 3511.15 of the Revised Code to permit uniformed services and overseas voters to request and receive absent voter's ballot applications and absent voter's ballots by electronic mail or internet delivery, to specify that a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot submitted by such a person may be used as the person's voter registration form and absent voter's ballot, to establish emergency election procedures for such persons involved in armed conflicts, troop mobilizations, or other emergencies, and to add daughters-in-law and sons-in-law to the list of family members who may request an absent voter's ballot on behalf of a uniformed services or overseas voter.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 3511.02, 3511.021, 3511.04, and 3511.14 be amended and section 3511.15 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3511.02.  Notwithstanding any section of the Revised Code to the contrary, whenever any person applies for registration as a voter on a form adopted in accordance with federal regulations relating to the "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act," 100 Stat. 924, 42 U.S.C.A. 1973ff (1986), this application shall be sufficient for voter registration and as a request for an absent voter's ballot. Uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots may be obtained by any person meeting the requirements of section 3511.01 of the Revised Code by applying electronically to the secretary of state or to the board of elections of the county in which the person's voting residence is located in accordance with section 3511.021 of the Revised Code or by applying to the director of the board of elections of the county in which the person's voting residence is located, in one of the following ways:
(A) That person may make written application for those ballots. The person may personally deliver the application to the director or may mail it, send it by facsimile machine, send it by electronic mail, send it through internet delivery if such delivery is offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, or otherwise send it to the director. The application need not be in any particular form but shall contain all of the following information:
(1) The elector's name;
(2) The elector's signature;
(3) The address at which the elector is registered to vote;
(4) The elector's date of birth;
(5) One of the following:
(a) The elector's driver's license number;
(b) The last four digits of the elector's social security number;
(c) A copy of the elector's current and valid photo identification, a copy of a military identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a notice of an election mailed by a board of elections under section 3501.19 of the Revised Code or a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections under section 3503.19 of the Revised Code, that shows the name and address of the elector.
(6) A statement identifying the election for which absent voter's ballots are requested;
(7) A statement that the person requesting the ballots is a qualified elector;
(8) A statement that the elector is an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-6;
(9) A statement of the elector's length of residence in the state immediately preceding the commencement of service, immediately preceding the date of leaving to be with or near the service member, or immediately preceding leaving the United States, whichever is applicable;
(10) If the request is for primary election ballots, the elector's party affiliation;
(11) If the elector desires ballots to be mailed to the elector, the address to which those ballots shall be mailed;
(12) If the elector desires ballots to be sent to the elector by facsimile machine, the telephone number to which they shall be so sent;
(13) If the elector desires ballots to be sent to the elector by electronic mail or, if offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, through internet delivery, the elector's electronic mail address or other internet contact information.
(B) A voter or any relative of a voter listed in division (C) of this section may use a single federal post card application to apply for uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots for use at the primary and general elections in a given year and any special election to be held on the day in that year specified by division (E) of section 3501.01 of the Revised Code for the holding of a primary election, designated by the general assembly for the purpose of submitting constitutional amendments proposed by the general assembly to the voters of the state. A single federal postcard application shall be processed by the board of elections pursuant to section 3511.04 of the Revised Code the same as if the voter had applied separately for uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots for each election.
(C) Application to have uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots mailed or sent by facsimile machine to such a person may be made by the spouse, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, brother or sister of the whole blood or half blood, son, daughter, adopting parent, adopted child, stepparent, stepchild, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of such a person. The application shall be in writing upon a blank form furnished only by the director or on a single federal post card as provided in division (B) of this section. The form of the application shall be prescribed by the secretary of state. The director shall furnish that blank form to any of the relatives specified in this division desiring to make the application, only upon the request of such a relative made in person at the office of the board or upon the written request of such a relative mailed to the office of the board. The application, subscribed and sworn to by the applicant, shall contain all of the following:
(1) The full name of the elector for whom ballots are requested;
(2) A statement that the elector is an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-6;
(3) The address at which the elector is registered to vote;
(4) A statement identifying the elector's length of residence in the state immediately preceding the commencement of service, immediately preceding the date of leaving to be with or near a service member, or immediately preceding leaving the United States, as the case may be;
(5) The elector's date of birth;
(6) One of the following:
(a) The elector's driver's license number;
(b) The last four digits of the elector's social security number;
(c) A copy of the elector's current and valid photo identification, a copy of a military identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a notice of an election mailed by a board of elections under section 3501.19 of the Revised Code or a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections under section 3503.19 of the Revised Code, that shows the name and address of the elector.
(7) A statement identifying the election for which absent voter's ballots are requested;
(8) A statement that the person requesting the ballots is a qualified elector;
(9) If the request is for primary election ballots, the elector's party affiliation;
(10) A statement that the applicant bears a relationship to the elector as specified in division (C) of this section;
(11) The address to which ballots shall be mailed or, the telephone number to which ballots shall be sent by facsimile machine, the electronic mail address to which ballots shall be sent by electronic mail, or, if internet delivery is offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, the internet contact information to which ballots shall be sent through internet delivery;
(12) The signature and address of the person making the application.
Each application for uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots shall be delivered to the director not earlier than the first day of January of the year of the elections for which the uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots are requested or not earlier than ninety days before the day of the election at which the ballots are to be voted, whichever is earlier, and not later than twelve noon of the third day preceding the day of the election, or not later than the close of regular business hours on the day before the day of the election at which those ballots are to be voted if the application is delivered in person to the office of the board.
(D) If the voter for whom the application is made is entitled to vote for presidential and vice-presidential electors only, the applicant shall submit to the director in addition to the requirements of divisions (A), (B), and (C) of this section, a statement to the effect that the voter is qualified to vote for presidential and vice-presidential electors and for no other offices.
Sec. 3511.021.  (A)(1) The secretary of state shall establish procedures that allow any person who is eligible to vote as a uniformed services voter or an overseas voter in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-6 to apply by electronic means to the office of the secretary of state or to the board of elections of the county in which the person's voting residence is located for a uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot.
(2) The procedures shall allow such a person who requests a uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot application to express a preference for the manner in which the person will receive the requested application, whether by mail or electronically, facsimile transmission, electronic mail, or, if offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, through internet delivery. If the person completes and timely returns the application and the applicant is eligible to receive a ballot, the procedures shall allow the applicant to express a preference for the manner in which the person will receive the requested blank, unvoted ballots, whether by mail or electronically, facsimile transmission, electronic mail, or, if offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, through internet delivery. The requested items shall be transmitted by the board of elections of the county in which the person's voting residence is located by the preferred method. If the requestor does not express a preferred method, the requested items shall be delivered via standard mail.
(3) To the extent practicable, the procedures shall protect the security and integrity of the ballot request and delivery process, and protect the privacy of the identity and personal data of the person when such applications and ballots are requested, processed, and sent.
(4) No person shall return by electronic means to the secretary of state, a board of elections, or any other entity a completed or voted uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot. If a ballot is so returned, the ballot shall not be accepted, processed, or counted.
(B)(1) The secretary of state, in coordination with the boards of elections, shall establish a free access system by which an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter may determine the following:
(a) Whether that person's request for a uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot was received and processed;
(b) If the person's request was received and processed, when the uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot was sent;
(c) Whether any uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot returned by that person has been received by election officials;
(d) Whether the board of elections found any error on the identification envelope containing the person's returned uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot and, if so, how the person may correct any error within ten days after the day of an election; and
(e) Whether the person's uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot was counted.
(2) The appropriate state or local election official shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures necessary to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information that is confidential under state or federal law that is collected, stored, or otherwise used by the free access system established under division (B) of this section. Access to information about the votes cast on an individual ballot shall be restricted to the person who cast the ballot. To the extent practicable, the procedures shall protect the security and integrity of the process and protect the privacy of the identity and personal data of the person.
Sec. 3511.04.  (A) If a director of a board of elections receives an application for uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots that does not contain all of the required information, the director promptly shall notify the applicant of the additional information required to be provided by the applicant to complete that application.
(B) Not later than the forty-fifth day before the day of each general or primary election, and at the earliest possible time before the day of a special election held on a day other than the day on which a general or primary election is held, the director of the board of elections shall mail, send by facsimile machine, send by electronic mail, send through internet delivery if such delivery is offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, or otherwise send uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots then ready for use as provided for in section 3511.03 of the Revised Code and for which the director has received valid applications prior to that time. Thereafter, and until twelve noon of the third day preceding the day of election, the director shall promptly, upon receipt of valid applications for them, mail, send by facsimile machine, send by electronic mail, send through internet delivery if such delivery is offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, or otherwise send to the proper persons all uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots then ready for use.
If, after the seventieth day before the day of a general or primary election, any other question, issue, or candidacy is lawfully ordered submitted to the electors voting at the general or primary election, the board shall promptly provide a separate official issue, special election, or other election ballot for submitting the question, issue, or candidacy to those electors, and the director shall promptly mail or, send by facsimile machine, send by electronic mail, send through internet delivery if such delivery is offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, or otherwise send each such separate ballot to each person to whom the director has previously mailed or sent by facsimile machine other uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots.
In mailing uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots, the director shall use the fastest mail service available, but the director shall not mail them by certified mail.
Sec. 3511.14. (A) A board of elections shall accept and process federal write-in absentee ballots for all elections for federal, state, or local office and for all ballot questions and issues as required under "The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act," Pub. L. No. 99-410, 100 Stat. 924, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff, et seq., as amended.
(B) A uniformed services or overseas voter may use the declaration accompanying a federal write-in absentee ballot to apply to register to vote simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot, if the declaration is received not later than thirty days before the day of the election. If the declaration is received after that date, the declaration shall be considered an application to register to vote for all subsequent elections.
Sec. 3511.15.  If an international, national, state, or local emergency or other situation arises that makes substantial compliance with the "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act," 42 U.S.C. 1973ff, et seq., as amended, impossible or impracticable, as confirmed by the existence of armed conflict involving United States armed forces or the mobilization of those forces, including Ohio national guard and reserve component members of this state, or by the occurrence of a natural disaster or the existence of a state of emergency, civil unrest, war, or other exigency in a foreign country, or by an official declaration by the governor that a state of emergency exists, the governor directly, or by delegation to the secretary of state, may prescribe, by emergency order or rule, a special procedure or requirement as may be necessary to facilitate absent voting by those absent uniformed services voters or overseas voters directly affected who are eligible to vote in this state. The secretary of state shall take reasonable steps to provide absent uniformed services or overseas voters with timely notice of any special procedure or requirement prescribed under this section.
Section 2.  That existing sections 3511.02, 3511.021, 3511.04, and 3511.14 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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