130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 78  As Introduced
As Introduced

130th General Assembly
Regular Session
2013-2014
H. B. No. 78


Representative Stinziano 

Cosponsors: Representatives Ashford, Boyd, Cera, Curtin, Hackett, Hagan, R., Mallory, Ramos 



A BILL
To amend sections 3503.14 and 3503.15 and to enact section 3503.20 of the Revised Code to require the Secretary of State to create an online voter registration system and to permit data sharing in order to maintain the statewide voter registration database.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 3503.14 and 3503.15 be amended and section 3503.20 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3503.14.  (A) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form and content of the registration, change of residence, and change of name forms used in this state. The forms shall meet the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and shall include spaces for all of the following:
(1) The voter's name;
(2) The voter's address;
(3) The current date;
(4) The voter's date of birth;
(5) The voter to provide one or more of the following:
(a) The voter's driver's license number, if any;
(b) The last four digits of the voter's social security number, if any;
(c) A copy of a 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 voter's name and address.
(6) The voter's signature.
The registration form shall include a space on which the person registering an applicant shall sign the person's name and provide the person's address and a space on which the person registering an applicant shall name the employer who is employing that person to register the applicant.
Except for forms prescribed by the secretary of state under section 3503.11 of the Revised Code, the secretary of state shall permit boards of elections to produce forms that have subdivided spaces for each individual alphanumeric character of the information provided by the voter so as to accommodate the electronic reading and conversion of the voter's information to data and the subsequent electronic transfer of that data to the statewide voter registration database established under section 3503.15 of the Revised Code.
(B) None of the following persons who are registering an applicant in the course of that official's or employee's normal duties shall sign the person's name, provide the person's address, or name the employer who is employing the person to register an applicant on a form prepared under this section:
(1) An election official;
(2) A county treasurer;
(3) A deputy registrar of motor vehicles;
(4) An employee of a designated agency;
(5) An employee of a public high school;
(6) An employee of a public vocational school;
(7) An employee of a public library;
(8) An employee of the office of a county treasurer;
(9) An employee of the bureau of motor vehicles;
(10) An employee of a deputy registrar of motor vehicles;
(11) An employee of an election official.
(C) Except as provided in section 3501.382 of the Revised Code, any applicant who is unable to sign the applicant's own name shall make an "X," if possible, which shall be certified by the signing of the name of the applicant by the person filling out the form, who shall add the person's own signature. If an applicant is unable to make an "X," the applicant shall indicate in some manner that the applicant desires to register to vote or to change the applicant's name or residence. The person registering the applicant shall sign the form and attest that the applicant indicated that the applicant desired to register to vote or to change the applicant's name or residence.
(D) No registration, change of residence, or change of name form shall be rejected solely on the basis that a person registering an applicant failed to sign the person's name or failed to name the employer who is employing that person to register the applicant as required under division (A) of this section.
(E) A voter registration application submitted online through the internet pursuant to section 3503.20 of the Revised Code is not required to contain a signature to be considered valid. The signature obtained under division (C)(1) of that section shall be considered the applicant's signature for all election and signature-matching purposes.
(F) As used in this section, "registering an applicant" includes any effort, for compensation, to provide voter registration forms or to assist persons in completing or returning those forms.
Sec. 3503.15.  (A)(1) The secretary of state shall establish and maintain a statewide voter registration database that shall be continuously available to each board of elections and to other agencies as authorized by law.
(2)(a) State agencies, including, but not limited to, the department of health, bureau of motor vehicles, department of job and family services, and the department of rehabilitation and corrections, shall provide any information and data to the secretary of state that the secretary of state considers necessary in order to maintain the statewide voter registration database established pursuant to this section, except where prohibited by federal law or regulation. The secretary of state shall ensure that any information or data provided to the secretary of state that is confidential in the possession of the entity providing the data remains confidential while in the possession of the secretary of state.
(b) Information provided under this division for maintenance of the statewide voter registration database shall not be used to update the name or address of a registered elector. The name or address of a registered elector shall only be updated as a result of the elector's actions in filing a notice of change of name, change of address, or both.
(c) A board of elections shall contact a registered elector by mail at the address on file with the board to verify the accuracy of the information in the statewide voter registration database regarding that elector if information provided under division (A)(2)(a) of this section identifies a discrepancy between the information regarding that elector that is maintained in the statewide voter registration database and maintained by a state agency.
(3) The secretary of state may enter into agreements to share information or data with other states or groups of states, as the secretary of state considers necessary, in order to maintain the statewide voter registration database established pursuant to this section. Except as otherwise provided in this division, the secretary of state shall ensure that any information or data provided to the secretary of state that is confidential in the possession of the state providing the data remains confidential while in the possession of the secretary of state. The secretary of state may provide such otherwise confidential information or data to persons or organizations that are engaging in legitimate governmental purposes related to the maintenance of the statewide voter registration database.
(B) The statewide voter registration database established under this section shall be the official list of registered voters for all elections conducted in this state.
(C) The statewide voter registration database established under this section shall, at a minimum, include all of the following:
(1) An electronic network that connects all board of elections offices with the office of the secretary of state and with the offices of all other boards of elections;
(2) A computer program that harmonizes the records contained in the database with records maintained by each board of elections;
(3) An interactive computer program that allows access to the records contained in the database by each board of elections and by any persons authorized by the secretary of state to add, delete, modify, or print database records, and to conduct updates of the database;
(4) A search program capable of verifying registered voters and their registration information by name, driver's license number, birth date, social security number, or current address;
(5) Safeguards and components to ensure that the integrity, security, and confidentiality of the voter registration information is maintained.
(D) The secretary of state shall adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code doing all of the following:
(1) Specifying the manner in which existing voter registration records maintained by boards of elections shall be converted to electronic files for inclusion in the statewide voter registration database;
(2) Establishing a uniform method for entering voter registration records into the statewide voter registration database on an expedited basis, but not less than once per day, if new registration information is received;
(3) Establishing a uniform method for purging canceled voter registration records from the statewide voter registration database in accordance with section 3503.21 of the Revised Code;
(4) Specifying the persons authorized to add, delete, modify, or print records contained in the statewide voter registration database and to make updates of that database;
(5) Establishing a process for annually auditing the information contained in the statewide voter registration database.
(E) A board of elections promptly shall purge a voter's name and voter registration information from the statewide voter registration database in accordance with the rules adopted by the secretary of state under division (D)(3) of this section after the cancellation of a voter's registration under section 3503.21 of the Revised Code.
(F) The secretary of state shall provide training in the operation of the statewide voter registration database to each board of elections and to any persons authorized by the secretary of state to add, delete, modify, or print database records, and to conduct updates of the database.
(G)(1) The statewide voter registration database established under this section shall be made available on a web site of the office of the secretary of state as follows:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in division (G)(1)(b) of this section, only the following information from the statewide voter registration database regarding a registered voter shall be made available on the web site:
(i) The voter's name;
(ii) The voter's address;
(iii) The voter's precinct number;
(iv) The voter's voting history.
(b) During the thirty days before the day of a primary or general election, the web site interface of the statewide voter registration database shall permit a voter to search for the polling location at which that voter may cast a ballot.
(2) The secretary of state shall establish, by rule adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, a process for boards of elections to notify the secretary of state of changes in the locations of precinct polling places for the purpose of updating the information made available on the secretary of state's web site under division (G)(1)(b) of this section. Those rules shall require a board of elections, during the thirty days before the day of a primary or general election, to notify the secretary of state within one business day of any change to the location of a precinct polling place within the county.
(3) During the thirty days before the day of a primary or general election, not later than one business day after receiving a notification from a county pursuant to division (G)(2) of this section that the location of a precinct polling place has changed, the secretary of state shall update that information on the secretary of state's web site for the purpose of division (G)(1)(b) of this section.
Sec. 3503.20. (A) As used in this section, "applicant" means an individual who is qualified to register to vote under this chapter and who possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code.
(B) The secretary of state, by rule, shall establish a secure online process for voter registration. The rules shall provide for an applicant to submit all of the following to the secretary of state online through the internet:
(1) An application to register as a first-time voter in Ohio or an application to change the applicant's name, address, or both, as set forth in the applicant's existing voter registration record;
(2) Information to establish the applicant's address, that the applicant is qualified to register to vote under this chapter, and that the applicant possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code;
(3) The applicant's attestation to the truth and accuracy of the information submitted in the online application under penalty of election falsification using the applicant's Ohio driver's license number or the number of the applicant's Ohio identification card as proof of the applicant's identity.
(C) The online voter registration application established under division (B) of this section shall include the following language:
"By clicking the box below, I affirm all of the following under penalty of election falsification:
(1) I am the person whose name and identifying information is provided on this form, and I desire to register to vote, or update my voter registration, in the State of Ohio.
(2) All of the information I have provided on this form is true and correct as of the date I am submitting this form.
(3) I authorize the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to transmit to the Ohio Secretary of State my signature that is on file with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and I understand and agree that the signature transmitted by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will be used by the Secretary of State to validate this electronic voter registration application as if I had signed this form personally."
In order to register to vote or update a voter registration under division (B) of this section, an applicant or elector shall be required to mark the box in the online voter registration application that appears in conjunction with the previous statement.
(D) When an applicant submits a voter registration application under this section, the secretary of state shall submit the completed application to the bureau of motor vehicles. The bureau of motor vehicles shall compare the information submitted by the applicant with the information maintained in the bureau of motor vehicles database that lists individuals who possess a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code.
(1) If the bureau of motor vehicles confirms that the applicant possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code, the bureau of motor vehicles shall submit the completed application and the information compiled by the bureau of motor vehicles, including an electronic copy of the applicant's signature, to the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall validate and submit the completed application and the information compiled by the bureau of motor vehicles, including the electronic signature of the applicant, to the board of elections of the county in which the applicant resides. The board of elections shall register the applicant. The electronic signature shall be used as the applicant's signature on voter registration records, for all election and signature-matching purposes.
(2) If the bureau of motor vehicles is unable to confirm that the applicant possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code, the bureau of motor vehicles shall submit the completed application and the information that the bureau of motor vehicles is unable to confirm that the applicant possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card to the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall submit the completed application and the information that the bureau of motor vehicles is unable to confirm that the applicant possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card to the board of elections of the county in which the applicant resides. The board of elections shall send a notice to the applicant that the application cannot be processed because the bureau of motor vehicles cannot confirm that the applicant possesses a current and valid Ohio driver's license or identification card. The board of elections shall send the notice to the applicant at the electronic mail address, if any, provided in the application, and by mail to the address provided in the application.
Section 2.  That existing sections 3503.14 and 3503.15 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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