130th Ohio General Assembly
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Am. S. B. No. 10  As Reported by the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee
As Reported by the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee

130th General Assembly
Regular Session
2013-2014
Am. S. B. No. 10


Senators Coley, Smith 

Cosponsors: Senators Obhof, Faber, Widener, Patton, Hite, Lehner, Oelslager, Eklund, LaRose, Burke, Jones, Bacon, Beagle, Manning, Gardner, Brown, Cafaro, Hughes, Peterson, Sawyer, Schaffer, Schiavoni, Tavares, Turner, Uecker 

Representatives Dovilla, Gerberry, Adams, J., Cera, Curtin, Fedor 



A BILL
To amend sections 3501.29, 3501.35, 3505.181, 3505.23, 3505.24, and 3509.01 of the Revised Code to revise the law regarding polling places and voting machines.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 3501.29, 3501.35, 3505.181, 3505.23, 3505.24, and 3509.01 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 3501.29.  (A) The board of elections shall provide for each precinct a polling place and provide adequate facilities at each polling place for conducting the election. The board shall provide a sufficient number of screened or curtained voting compartments to which electors may retire and conveniently mark their ballots, protected from the observation of others. Each voting compartment shall be provided at all times with writing implements, instructions how to vote, and other necessary conveniences for marking the ballot. The presiding judge shall ensure that the voting compartments at all times are adequately lighted and contain the necessary supplies. The board shall utilize, in so far as practicable, rooms in public schools and other public buildings for polling places. Upon application of the board of elections, the authority which has the control of any building or grounds supported by taxation under the laws of this state, shall make available the necessary space therein for the purpose of holding elections and adequate space for the storage of voting machines, without charge for the use thereof. A reasonable sum may be paid for necessary janitorial service. When polling places are established in private buildings, the board may pay a reasonable rental therefor, and also the cost of liability insurance covering the premises when used for election purposes, or the board may purchase a single liability policy covering the board and the owners of the premises when used for election purposes. When removable buildings are supplied by the board, they shall be constructed under the contract let to the lowest and best bidder, and the board shall observe all ordinances and regulations then in force as to safety. The board shall remove all such buildings from streets and other public places within thirty days after an election, unless another election is to be held within ninety days.
(B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board shall ensure all of the following:
(a) That polling places are free of barriers that would impede ingress and egress of handicapped persons;
(b) That the minimum number of special parking locations, also known as handicapped parking spaces or disability parking spaces, for handicapped persons are designated at each polling place in accordance with 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A, and in compliance with division (E) of section 4511.69 of the Revised Code.;
(c) That the entrances of polling places are level or are provided with a nonskid ramp of not over eight per cent gradient that meets the requirements of the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990," 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C. 12101;
(d) That doors are a minimum of thirty-two inches wide.
(2) Notwithstanding division (B)(1)(a), (c), or (d) of this section, certain polling places may be specifically exempted by the secretary of state upon certification by a board of elections that a good faith, but unsuccessful, effort has been made to modify, or change the location of, such polling places.
(C) At any polling place that is exempted from compliance by the secretary of state, the board of elections shall permit any handicapped elector who travels to that elector's polling place, but who is unable to enter the polling place, to vote, with the assistance of two polling place officials of major political parties, in the vehicle that conveyed that elector to the polling place, or to receive and cast that elector's ballot at the door of the polling place.
(D) The secretary of state shall:
(1) Work with other state agencies to facilitate the distribution of information and technical assistance to boards of elections to meet the requirements of division (B) of this section;
(2) Work with organizations that represent or provide services to handicapped, disabled, or elderly citizens to effect a wide dissemination of information about the availability of absentee voting, voting in the voter's vehicle or at the door of the polling place, or other election services to handicapped, disabled, or elderly citizens.
(E) Before the day of an election, the director of the board of elections of each county shall sign a statement verifying that each polling place that will be used in that county at that election meets the requirements of division (B)(1)(b) of this section. The signed statement shall be sent to the secretary of state by certified mail.
(F) As used in this section, "handicapped" means having lost the use of one or both legs, one or both arms, or any combination thereof, or being blind or so severely disabled as to be unable to move about without the aid of crutches or a wheelchair.
Sec. 3501.35. (A) During an election and the counting of the ballots, no person shall do any of the following:
(1) Loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;
(2) In any manner hinder or delay an elector in reaching or leaving the place fixed for casting the elector's ballot;
(3) Give, tender, or exhibit any ballot or ticket to any person other than the elector's own ballot to the judge of election within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;
(4) Exhibit any ticket or ballot which the elector intends to cast;
(5) Solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any elector in casting the elector's vote.
(B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section and division (C) of section 3503.23 of the Revised Code, no person who is not an election official, employee, observer, or police officer shall be allowed to enter the polling place during the election, except for the purpose of voting or assisting another person to vote as provided in section 3505.24 of the Revised Code.
(2) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, a journalist shall be allowed reasonable access to a polling place during an election. As used in this division, "journalist" has the same meaning as in division (B)(2) of section 2923.129 of the Revised Code.
(C) No more electors shall be allowed to approach the voting shelves at any time than there are voting shelves provided.
(D) The judges of election and the police officer shall strictly enforce the observance of this section.
Sec. 3505.181.  (A) All of the following individuals shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at an election:
(1) An individual who declares that the individual is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote and that the individual is eligible to vote in an election, but the name of the individual does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote;
(2) An individual who has a social security number and provides to the election officials the last four digits of the individual's social security number as permitted by division (A)(2) of section 3505.18 of the Revised Code;
(3) An individual who has but is unable to provide to the election officials any of the forms of identification required under division (A)(1) of section 3505.18 of the Revised Code and who has a social security number but is unable to provide the last four digits of the individual's social security number as permitted under division (A)(2) of that section;
(4) An individual who does not have any of the forms of identification required under division (A)(1) of section 3505.18 of the Revised Code, who cannot provide the last four digits of the individual's social security number under division (A)(2) of that section because the individual does not have a social security number, and who has executed an affirmation as permitted under division (A)(4) of that section;
(5) An individual whose name in the poll list or signature pollbook has been marked under section 3509.09 or 3511.13 of the Revised Code as having requested an absent voter's ballot or an armed service absent voter's ballot for that election and who appears to vote at the polling place;
(6) An individual whose notification of registration has been returned undelivered to the board of elections and whose name in the official registration list and in the poll list or signature pollbook has been marked under division (C)(2) of section 3503.19 of the Revised Code;
(7) An individual who is challenged under section 3505.20 of the Revised Code and the election officials determine that the person is ineligible to vote or are unable to determine the person's eligibility to vote;
(8) An individual whose application or challenge hearing has been postponed until after the day of the election under division (D)(1) of section 3503.24 of the Revised Code;
(9) An individual who changes the individual's name and remains within the precinct, moves from one precinct to another within a county, moves from one precinct to another and changes the individual's name, or moves from one county to another within the state, and completes and signs the required forms and statements under division (B) or (C) of section 3503.16 of the Revised Code;
(10) An individual whose signature, in the opinion of the precinct officers under section 3505.22 of the Revised Code, is not that of the person who signed that name in the registration forms;
(11) An individual who is challenged under section 3513.20 of the Revised Code who refuses to make the statement required under that section or who a majority of the precinct officials find lacks any of the qualifications to make the individual a qualified elector;
(12) An individual who does not have any of the forms of identification required under division (A)(1) of section 3505.18 of the Revised Code, who cannot provide the last four digits of the individual's social security number under division (A)(2) of that section because the person does not have a social security number, and who declines to execute an affirmation as permitted under division (A)(4) of that section;
(13) An individual who has but declines to provide to the precinct election officials any of the forms of identification required under division (A)(1) of section 3501.18 of the Revised Code or who has a social security number but declines to provide to the precinct election officials the last four digits of the individual's social security number.
(B) An individual who is eligible to cast a provisional ballot under division (A) of this section shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot as follows:
(1) An election official at the polling place shall notify the individual that the individual may cast a provisional ballot in that election.
(2) The individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place upon the execution of a written affirmation by the individual before an election official at the polling place stating that the individual is both of the following:
(a) A registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote;
(b) Eligible to vote in that election.
(3) An election official at the polling place shall transmit the ballot cast by the individual, the voter information contained in the written affirmation executed by the individual under division (B)(2) of this section, or the individual's name if the individual declines to execute such an affirmation to an appropriate local election official for verification under division (B)(4) of this section.
(4) If the appropriate local election official to whom the ballot or voter or address information is transmitted under division (B)(3) of this section determines that the individual is eligible to vote, the individual's provisional ballot shall be counted as a vote in that election.
(5)(a) At the time that an individual casts a provisional ballot, the appropriate local election official shall give the individual written information that states that any individual who casts a provisional ballot will be able to ascertain under the system established under division (B)(5)(b) of this section whether the vote was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.
(b) The appropriate state or local election official shall establish a free access system, in the form of a toll-free telephone number, that any individual who casts a provisional ballot may access to discover whether the vote of that individual was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted. The free access system established under this division also shall provide to an individual whose provisional ballot was not counted information explaining how that individual may contact the board of elections to register to vote or to resolve problems with the individual's voter registration.
The appropriate state or local election official shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures necessary to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used by the free access system established under this division. Access to information about an individual ballot shall be restricted to the individual who cast the ballot.
(6) If, at the time that an individual casts a provisional ballot, the individual provides identification in the form of a current and valid photo identification, 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 individual's name and current address, or provides the last four digits of the individual's social security number, or executes an affirmation that the elector does not have any of those forms of identification or the last four digits of the individual's social security number because the individual does not have a social security number, or declines to execute such an affirmation, the appropriate local election official shall record the type of identification provided, the social security number information, the fact that the affirmation was executed, or the fact that the individual declined to execute such an affirmation and include that information with the transmission of the ballot or voter or address information under division (B)(3) of this section. If the individual declines to execute such an affirmation, the appropriate local election official shall record the individual's name and include that information with the transmission of the ballot under division (B)(3) of this section.
(7) If an individual casts a provisional ballot pursuant to division (A)(3), (7), (8), (12), or (13) of this section, the election official shall indicate, on the provisional ballot verification statement required under section 3505.182 of the Revised Code, that the individual is required to provide additional information to the board of elections or that an application or challenge hearing has been postponed with respect to the individual, such that additional information is required for the board of elections to determine the eligibility of the individual who cast the provisional ballot.
(8) During the ten days after the day of an election, an individual who casts a provisional ballot pursuant to division (A)(3), (7), (12), or (13) of this section shall appear at the office of the board of elections and provide to the board any additional information necessary to determine the eligibility of the individual who cast the provisional ballot.
(a) For a provisional ballot cast pursuant to division (A)(3), (12), or (13) of this section to be eligible to be counted, the individual who cast that ballot, within ten days after the day of the election, shall do any of the following:
(i) Provide to the board of elections proof of the individual's identity in the form of a current and valid photo identification, 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 individual's name and current address;
(ii) Provide to the board of elections the last four digits of the individual's social security number;
(iii) In the case of a provisional ballot executed pursuant to division (A)(12) of this section, execute an affirmation as permitted under division (A)(4) of section 3505.18 of the Revised Code.
(b) For a provisional ballot cast pursuant to division (A)(7) of this section to be eligible to be counted, the individual who cast that ballot, within ten days after the day of that election, shall provide to the board of elections any identification or other documentation required to be provided by the applicable challenge questions asked of that individual under section 3505.20 of the Revised Code.
(C)(1) If an individual declares that the individual is eligible to vote in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote, or if, upon review of the precinct voting location guide using the residential street address provided by the individual, an election official at the polling place at which the individual desires to vote determines that the individual is not eligible to vote in that jurisdiction, the election official shall direct the individual to the polling place for the jurisdiction in which the individual appears to be eligible to vote, explain that the individual may cast a provisional ballot at the current location but the ballot will not be counted if it is cast in the wrong precinct, and provide the telephone number of the board of elections in case the individual has additional questions.
(2) If the individual refuses to travel to the polling place for the correct jurisdiction or to the office of the board of elections to cast a ballot, the individual shall be permitted to vote a provisional ballot at that jurisdiction in accordance with division (B) of this section. If any of the following apply, the provisional ballot cast by that individual shall not be opened or counted:
(a) The individual is not properly registered in that jurisdiction.
(b) The individual is not eligible to vote in that election in that jurisdiction.
(c) The individual's eligibility to vote in that jurisdiction in that election cannot be established upon examination of the records on file with the board of elections.
(D) The appropriate local election official shall cause voting information to be publicly posted at each polling place on the day of each election.
(E) As used in this section and sections 3505.182 and 3505.183 of the Revised Code:
(1) "Jurisdiction" means the precinct in which a person is a legally qualified elector.
(2) "Precinct voting location guide" means either of the following:
(a) An electronic or paper record that lists the correct jurisdiction and polling place for either each specific residential street address in the county or the range of residential street addresses located in each neighborhood block in the county;
(b) Any other method that a board of elections creates that allows a precinct election official or any elector who is at a polling place in that county to determine the correct jurisdiction and polling place of any qualified elector who resides in the county.
(3) "Voting information" means all of the following:
(a) A sample version of the ballot that will be used for that election;
(b) Information regarding the date of the election and the hours during which polling places will be open;
(c) Instructions on how to vote, including how to cast a vote and how to cast a provisional ballot;
(d) Instructions for mail-in registrants and first-time voters under applicable federal and state laws;
(e) General information on voting rights under applicable federal and state laws, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated;
(f) General information on federal and state laws regarding prohibitions against acts of fraud and misrepresentation.
(F) Nothing in this section or section 3505.183 of the Revised Code is in derogation of section 3505.24 of the Revised Code, which permits a blind, disabled, or illiterate elector to receive assistance in the marking of the elector's ballot by two precinct election officials of different political parties. A blind, disabled, or illiterate elector may receive assistance in marking that elector's provisional ballot and in completing the required affirmation in the same manner as an elector may receive assistance on the day of an election under that section.
Sec. 3505.23.  No Except as otherwise provided in this section, no voter shall be allowed to occupy a voting compartment or use a voting machine more than five ten minutes when all the voting compartments or machines are in use and voters are waiting to occupy them. Except The ten-minute time limit shall not apply to any person who requires the use of a disabled-accessible voting machine as required under the "Help America Vote Act of 2002," 116 Stat. 1704, 42 U.S.C. 15481.
Except as otherwise provided by section 3505.24 of the Revised Code, no voter shall occupy a voting compartment or machine with another person or speak to anyone, nor shall anyone speak to the voter, while the voter is in a voting compartment or machine.
In precincts that do not use voting machines the following procedure shall be followed:
If a voter tears, soils, defaces, or erroneously marks a ballot the voter may return it to the precinct election officials and a second ballot shall be issued to the voter. Before returning a torn, soiled, defaced, or erroneously marked ballot, the voter shall fold it so as to conceal any marks the voter made upon it, but the voter shall not remove Stub A therefrom. If the voter tears, soils, defaces, or erroneously marks such second ballot, the voter may return it to the precinct election officials, and a third ballot shall be issued to the voter. In no case shall more than three ballots be issued to a voter. Upon receiving a returned torn, soiled, defaced, or erroneously marked ballot the precinct election officials shall detach Stub A therefrom, write "Defaced" on the back of such ballot, and place the stub and the ballot in the separate containers provided therefor.
No elector shall leave the polling place until the elector returns to the precinct election officials every ballot issued to the elector with Stub A on each ballot attached thereto, regardless of whether the elector has or has not placed any marks upon the ballot.
Before leaving the voting compartment, the voter shall fold each ballot marked by the voter so that no part of the face of the ballot is visible, and so that the printing thereon indicating the kind of ballot it is and the facsimile signatures of the members of the board of elections are visible. The voter shall then leave the voting compartment, deliver the voter's ballots, and state the voter's name to the judge having charge of the ballot boxes, who shall announce the name, detach Stub A from each ballot, and announce the number on the stubs. The judges in charge of the poll lists or poll books shall check to ascertain whether the number so announced is the number on Stub B of the ballots issued to such voter, and if no discrepancy appears to exist, the judge in charge of the ballot boxes shall, in the presence of the voter, deposit each such ballot in the proper ballot box and shall place Stub A from each ballot in the container provided therefor. The voter shall then immediately leave the polling place.
No ballot delivered by a voter to the judge in charge of the ballot boxes with Stub A detached therefrom, and only ballots provided in accordance with Title XXXV of the Revised Code, shall be voted or deposited in the ballot boxes.
In marking a presidential ballot, the voter shall record the vote in the manner provided on the ballot next to the names of the candidates for the offices of president and vice-president. Such ballot shall be considered and counted as a vote for each of the candidates for election as presidential elector whose names were certified to the secretary of state by the political party of such nominees for president and vice-president.
In marking an office type ballot or nonpartisan ballot, the voter shall record the vote in the manner provided on the ballot next to the name of each candidate for whom the voter desires to vote.
In marking a primary election ballot, the voter shall record the vote in the manner provided on the ballot next to the name of each candidate for whom the voter desires to vote. If the voter desires to vote for the nomination of a person whose name is not printed on the primary election ballot, the voter may do so by writing such person's name on the ballot in the proper place provided for such purpose.
In marking a questions and issues ballot, the voter shall record the vote in the manner provided on the ballot at the left or at the right of "YES" or "NO" or other words of similar import which are printed on the ballot to enable the voter to indicate how the voter votes in connection with each question or issue upon which the voter desires to vote.
In marking any ballot on which a blank space has been provided wherein an elector may write in the name of a person for whom the elector desires to vote, the elector shall write such person's name in such blank space and on no other place on the ballot. Unless specific provision is made by statute, no blank space shall be provided on a ballot for write-in votes, and any names written on a ballot other than in a blank space provided therefor shall not be counted or recorded.
Sec. 3505.24.  Any Notwithstanding any provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, any elector who declares to the presiding judge of elections that the elector is unable to mark the elector's ballot by reason of blindness, disability, or illiteracy may be accompanied in the voting booth and aided by any person of the elector's choice, other than the elector's employer, an agent of the elector's employer, or an officer or agent of the elector's union, if any. The elector also may request and receive assistance in the marking of the elector's ballot from two election officials of different political parties. Any person providing assistance in the marking of an elector's ballot under this section shall thereafter provide no information in regard to the marking of that ballot.
Any judge may require a declaration of inability to be made by the elector under oath before the judge. Assistance shall not be rendered for causes other than those specified in this section, and no candidate whose name appears on the ballot shall assist any person in marking that person's ballot.
Sec. 3509.01. (A) The board of elections of each county shall provide absent voter's ballots for use at every primary and general election, or special election to be held on the day 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. Those ballots shall be the same size, shall be printed on the same kind of paper, and shall be in the same form as has been approved for use at the election for which those ballots are to be voted; except that, in counties using marking devices, ballot cards may be used for absent voter's ballots, and those absent voters shall be instructed to record the vote in the manner provided on the ballot cards. In counties where punch card ballots are used, those absent voters shall be instructed to examine their marked ballot cards and to remove any chads that remain partially attached to them before returning them to election officials.
(B) The rotation of names of candidates and questions and issues shall be substantially complied with on absent voter's ballots, within the limitation of time allotted. Those ballots shall be designated as "Absent Voter's Ballots." Except as otherwise provided in division (D) of this section, those ballots shall be printed and ready for use as follows:
(1) For overseas voters and absent uniformed services voters eligible to vote 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, ballots shall be printed and ready for use on the forty-fifth day before the day of the election.
(2) For all other voters who are applying to vote absent voter's ballots, ballots shall be printed and ready for use on the thirty-fifth day before the day of the election.
(3) If, at the time for the close of in-person absent voting on a particular day, there are voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, the in-person absent voting location shall be kept open until such waiting voters have cast their absent voter's ballots.
(C) Absent voter's ballots provided for use at a general or primary election, or special election to be held on the day 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, shall include only those questions, issues, and candidacies that have been lawfully ordered submitted to the electors voting at that election.
(D) If the laws governing the holding of a special election on a day other than the day on which a primary or general election is held make it impossible for absent voter's ballots to be printed and ready for use by the deadlines established in division (B) of this section, absent voter's ballots for those special elections shall be ready for use as many days before the day of the election as reasonably possible under the laws governing the holding of that special election.
(E) A copy of the absent voter's ballots shall be forwarded by the director of the board in each county to the secretary of state at least twenty-five days before the election.
(F) As used in this section, "chad" and "punch card ballot" have the same meanings as in section 3506.16 of the Revised Code.
Section 2.  That existing sections 3501.29, 3501.35, 3505.181, 3505.23, 3505.24, and 3509.01 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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