130th Ohio General Assembly
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S. B. No. 227  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
S. B. No. 227


Senators Tavares, Turner 

Cosponsors: Senators Skindell, Sawyer 



A BILL
To amend section 3509.03 of the Revised Code to restore local control to Ohio's election process and increase voter participation by permitting an individual who wishes to vote by absent voter's ballots to request those ballots via electronic mail, through the internet, if internet delivery is offered by a board of elections or the Secretary of State, by permitting a board of elections to mail unsolicited applications for absent voter's ballots, and by requiring the General Assembly to appropriate funds, and requiring the Secretary of State to reimburse boards, for costs incurred in sending unsolicited applications for general elections held in an even-numbered year.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That section 3509.03 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 3509.03.  Except as provided in division (B) of section 3509.08 of the Revised Code, any qualified elector desiring to vote absent voter's ballots at an election shall make written application for those ballots to the board of elections of the county in which the elector's voting residence is located. The elector may personally deliver the application to the director, may mail it to the director, send it to the director by electronic mail, or send it to the director through internet delivery, if internet delivery is offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state. The application need not be in any particular form but shall contain all of the following:
(A) The elector's name;
(B) The elector's signature;
(C) The address at which the elector is registered to vote;
(D) The elector's date of birth;
(E) One of the following:
(1) The elector's driver's license number or state identification card number;
(2) The last four digits of the elector's social security number;
(3) A copy of the elector's current and valid photo identification, a copy of a military identification, a copy of a United States passport, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than 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.
(F) A statement identifying the election for which absent voter's ballots are requested;
(G) A statement that the person requesting the ballots is a qualified elector;
(H) If the request is for primary election ballots, the elector's party affiliation;
(I) If the elector desires ballots to be mailed to the elector, the address to which those ballots shall be mailed.
Each application for absent voter's ballots shall be delivered to the board not earlier than the first day of January of the year of the elections for which the 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 before the day of the election at which the ballots are to be voted, or not later than six p.m. on the last Friday before the day of the election at which the ballots are to be voted if the application is delivered in person to the office of the board.
A board of elections shall not may mail any unsolicited applications for absent voter's ballots. A board shall only mail an absent voter's ballot application to an elector who has requested such an application from the board. A board of elections that mails an absent voter's ballot application to an elector under this section shall not prepay the return postage for that application to any person registered to vote in the applicable county. The general assembly shall appropriate funds to the secretary of state to pay costs incurred for mailing those applications for a general election conducted in an even-numbered year. The secretary of state shall use those funds to reimburse the boards of elections for any costs the boards incur to mail unsolicited applications for absent voter's ballots for a general election conducted in an even-numbered year.
Section 2.  That existing section 3509.03 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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