130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. S. B. No. 205  As Enrolled
(130th General Assembly)
(Substitute Senate Bill Number 205)



AN ACT
To amend sections 3501.05, 3505.24, 3509.03, 3509.04, 3509.06, 3509.07, 3511.02, 3511.04, 3511.05, and 3511.10 of the Revised Code to revise the law concerning the mailing of absent voter's ballots and applications for those ballots and to clarify that an elector generally is responsible to complete the elector's absent voter's ballot documents.

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

SECTION 1.  That sections 3501.05, 3505.24, 3509.03, 3509.04, 3509.06, 3509.07, 3511.02, 3511.04, 3511.05, and 3511.10 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 3501.05.  The secretary of state shall do all of the following:

(A) Appoint all members of boards of elections;

(B) Issue instructions by directives and advisories in accordance with section 3501.053 of the Revised Code to members of the boards as to the proper methods of conducting elections.

(C) Prepare rules and instructions for the conduct of elections;

(D) Publish and furnish to the boards from time to time a sufficient number of indexed copies of all election laws then in force;

(E) Edit and issue all pamphlets concerning proposed laws or amendments required by law to be submitted to the voters;

(F) Prescribe the form of registration cards, blanks, and records;

(G) Determine and prescribe the forms of ballots and the forms of all blanks, cards of instructions, pollbooks, tally sheets, certificates of election, and forms and blanks required by law for use by candidates, committees, and boards;

(H) Prepare the ballot title or statement to be placed on the ballot for any proposed law or amendment to the constitution to be submitted to the voters of the state;

(I) Except as otherwise provided in section 3519.08 of the Revised Code, certify to the several boards the forms of ballots and names of candidates for state offices, and the form and wording of state referendum questions and issues, as they shall appear on the ballot;

(J) Except as otherwise provided in division (I)(2)(b) of section 3501.38 of the Revised Code, give final approval to ballot language for any local question or issue approved and transmitted by boards of elections under section 3501.11 of the Revised Code;

(K) Receive all initiative and referendum petitions on state questions and issues and determine and certify to the sufficiency of those petitions;

(L) Require such reports from the several boards as are provided by law, or as the secretary of state considers necessary;

(M) Compel the observance by election officers in the several counties of the requirements of the election laws;

(N)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (N)(2) of this section, investigate the administration of election laws, frauds, and irregularities in elections in any county, and report violations of election laws to the attorney general or prosecuting attorney, or both, for prosecution;

(2) On and after August 24, 1995, report a failure to comply with or a violation of a provision in sections 3517.08 to 3517.13, 3517.17, 3517.18, 3517.20 to 3517.22, 3599.03, or 3599.031 of the Revised Code, whenever the secretary of state has or should have knowledge of a failure to comply with or a violation of a provision in one of those sections, by filing a complaint with the Ohio elections commission under section 3517.153 of the Revised Code;.

(O) Make an annual report to the governor containing the results of elections, the cost of elections in the various counties, a tabulation of the votes in the several political subdivisions, and other information and recommendations relative to elections the secretary of state considers desirable;

(P) Prescribe and distribute to boards of elections a list of instructions indicating all legal steps necessary to petition successfully for local option elections under sections 4301.32 to 4301.41, 4303.29, 4305.14, and 4305.15 of the Revised Code;

(Q) Adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the removal by boards of elections of ineligible voters from the statewide voter registration database and, if applicable, from the poll list or signature pollbook used in each precinct, which rules shall provide for all of the following:

(1) A process for the removal of voters who have changed residence, which shall be uniform, nondiscriminatory, and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, including a program that uses the national change of address service provided by the United States postal system through its licensees;

(2) A process for the removal of ineligible voters under section 3503.21 of the Revised Code;

(3) A uniform system for marking or removing the name of a voter who is ineligible to vote from the statewide voter registration database and, if applicable, from the poll list or signature pollbook used in each precinct and noting the reason for that mark or removal.

(R) Prescribe a general program for registering voters or updating voter registration information, such as name and residence changes, by boards of elections, designated agencies, offices of deputy registrars of motor vehicles, public high schools and vocational schools, public libraries, and offices of county treasurers consistent with the requirements of section 3503.09 of the Revised Code;

(S) Prescribe a program of distribution of voter registration forms through boards of elections, designated agencies, offices of the registrar and deputy registrars of motor vehicles, public high schools and vocational schools, public libraries, and offices of county treasurers;

(T) To the extent feasible, provide copies, at no cost and upon request, of the voter registration form in post offices in this state;

(U) Adopt rules pursuant to section 111.15 of the Revised Code for the purpose of implementing the program for registering voters through boards of elections, designated agencies, and the offices of the registrar and deputy registrars of motor vehicles consistent with this chapter;

(V) Establish the full-time position of Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator within the office of the secretary of state to do all of the following:

(1) Assist the secretary of state with ensuring that there is equal access to polling places for persons with disabilities;

(2) Assist the secretary of state with ensuring that each voter may cast the voter's ballot in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and independence, as for other voters;

(3) Advise the secretary of state in the development of standards for the certification of voting machines, marking devices, and automatic tabulating equipment.

(W) Establish and maintain a computerized statewide database of all legally registered voters under section 3503.15 of the Revised Code that complies with the requirements of the "Help America Vote Act of 2002," Pub. L. No. 107-252, 116 Stat. 1666, and provide training in the operation of that system;

(X) Ensure that all directives, advisories, other instructions, or decisions issued or made during or as a result of any conference or teleconference call with a board of elections to discuss the proper methods and procedures for conducting elections, to answer questions regarding elections, or to discuss the interpretation of directives, advisories, or other instructions issued by the secretary of state are posted on a web site of the office of the secretary of state as soon as is practicable after the completion of the conference or teleconference call, but not later than the close of business on the same day as the conference or teleconference call takes place.

(Y) Publish a report on a web site of the office of the secretary of state not later than one month after the completion of the canvass of the election returns for each primary and general election, identifying, by county, the number of absent voter's ballots cast and the number of those ballots that were counted, and the number of provisional ballots cast and the number of those ballots that were counted, for that election. The secretary of state shall maintain the information on the web site in an archive format for each subsequent election.

(Z) Conduct voter education outlining voter identification, absent voters ballot, provisional ballot, and other voting requirements;

(AA) Establish a procedure by which a registered elector may make available to a board of elections a more recent signature to be used in the poll list or signature pollbook produced by the board of elections of the county in which the elector resides;

(BB) Disseminate information, which may include all or part of the official explanations and arguments, by means of direct mail or other written publication, broadcast, or other means or combination of means, as directed by the Ohio ballot board under division (F) of section 3505.062 of the Revised Code, in order to inform the voters as fully as possible concerning each proposed constitutional amendment, proposed law, or referendum;

(CC) Be the single state office responsible for the implementation of 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, in this state. The secretary of state may delegate to the boards of elections responsibilities for the implementation of that act, including responsibilities arising from amendments to that act made by the "Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act," Subtitle H of the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010," Pub. L. No. 111-84, 123 Stat. 3190.

(DD) Perform other duties required by law.

Whenever a primary election is held under section 3513.32 of the Revised Code or a special election is held under section 3521.03 of the Revised Code to fill a vacancy in the office of representative to congress, the secretary of state shall establish a deadline, notwithstanding any other deadline required under the Revised Code, by which any or all of the following shall occur: the filing of a declaration of candidacy and petitions or a statement of candidacy and nominating petition together with the applicable filing fee; the filing of protests against the candidacy of any person filing a declaration of candidacy or nominating petition; the filing of a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate; the filing of campaign finance reports; the preparation of, and the making of corrections or challenges to, precinct voter registration lists; the receipt of applications for absent voter's ballots or armed service uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots; the supplying of election materials to precincts by boards of elections; the holding of hearings by boards of elections to consider challenges to the right of a person to appear on a voter registration list; and the scheduling of programs to instruct or reinstruct election officers.

In the performance of the secretary of state's duties as the chief election officer, the secretary of state may administer oaths, issue subpoenas, summon witnesses, compel the production of books, papers, records, and other evidence, and fix the time and place for hearing any matters relating to the administration and enforcement of the election laws.

In any controversy involving or arising out of the adoption of registration or the appropriation of funds for registration, the secretary of state may, through the attorney general, bring an action in the name of the state in the court of common pleas of the county where the cause of action arose or in an adjoining county, to adjudicate the question.

In any action involving the laws in Title XXXV of the Revised Code wherein the interpretation of those laws is in issue in such a manner that the result of the action will affect the lawful duties of the secretary of state or of any board of elections, the secretary of state may, on the secretary of state's motion, be made a party.

The secretary of state may apply to any court that is hearing a case in which the secretary of state is a party, for a change of venue as a substantive right, and the change of venue shall be allowed, and the case removed to the court of common pleas of an adjoining county named in the application or, if there are cases pending in more than one jurisdiction that involve the same or similar issues, the court of common pleas of Franklin county.

Public high schools and vocational schools, public libraries, and the office of a county treasurer shall implement voter registration programs as directed by the secretary of state pursuant to this section.

The secretary of state may mail unsolicited applications for absent voter's ballots to individuals only for a general election and only if the general assembly has made an appropriation for that particular mailing. Under no other circumstance shall a public office, or a public official or employee who is acting in an official capacity, mail unsolicited applications for absent voter's ballots to any individuals.

Sec. 3505.24.  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 does both of the following 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:

(A) Appears to vote on the day of an election or appears at the office of the board of elections to cast absent voter's ballots in person; and

(B) Declares to the presiding judge of elections or to the election official who is accepting applications to cast absent voter's ballots in person that the elector is unable to mark the elector's ballot by reason of blindness, disability, or illiteracy. The

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 election official may require a declaration of inability to be made by the elector under oath before the judge election official. 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. 3509.03.  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 director of elections of the county in which the elector's voting residence is located. 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;

(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, 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 director 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 that mails an absent voter's ballot application to an elector under this section shall not prepay the return postage for that application.

Except as otherwise provided in this section and in sections 3505.24 and 3509.08 of the Revised Code, an election official shall not fill out any portion of an application for absent voter's ballots on behalf of an applicant. The secretary of state or a board of elections may preprint only an applicant's name and address on an application for absent voter's ballots before mailing that application to the applicant.

Sec. 3509.04. (A) If a director of a board of elections receives an application for 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) Upon receipt by the director of elections of an application for absent voter's ballots that contains all of the required information, as provided by section 3509.03 and division (G) of section 3503.16 of the Revised Code, the director, if the director finds that the applicant is a qualified elector, shall deliver to the applicant in person or mail directly to the applicant by special delivery mail, air mail, or regular mail, postage prepaid, proper absent voter's ballots. The director shall deliver or mail with the ballots an unsealed identification envelope upon the face of which shall be printed a form substantially as follows:

"Identification Envelope Statement of Voter

I, ........................(Name of voter), declare under penalty of election falsification that the within ballot or ballots contained no voting marks of any kind when I received them, and I caused the ballot or ballots to be marked, enclosed in the identification envelope, and sealed in that envelope.

My voting residence in Ohio is

...................................................................

(Street and Number, if any, or Rural Route and Number)

of ................................ (City, Village, or Township) Ohio, which is in Ward ............... Precinct ................ in that city, village, or township.

The primary election ballots, if any, within this envelope are primary election ballots of the ............. Party.

Ballots contained within this envelope are to be voted at the .......... (general, special, or primary) election to be held on the .......................... day of ......................, ....

My date of birth is ............... (Month and Day), .......... (Year).

(Voter must provide one of the following:)

My driver's license number is ............... (Driver's license number).

The last four digits of my Social Security Number are ............... (Last four digits of Social Security Number).

...... In lieu of providing a driver's license number or the last four digits of my Social Security Number, I am enclosing a copy of one of the following in the return envelope in which this identification envelope will be mailed: a current and valid photo identification, a military identification, or 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, that shows my name and address.

I hereby declare, under penalty of election falsification, that the statements above are true, as I verily believe.

(Signature of Voter)

WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE."

The director shall mail with the ballots and the unsealed identification envelope an unsealed return envelope upon the face of which shall be printed the official title and post-office address of the director. In the upper left corner on the face of the return envelope, several blank lines shall be printed upon which the voter may write the voter's name and return address. The return envelope shall be of such size that the identification envelope can be conveniently placed within it for returning the identification envelope to the director.

A board of elections that mails or otherwise delivers absent voter's ballots to an elector under this section shall not prepay the return postage for those ballots.

Except as otherwise provided in this section and in sections 3505.24 and 3509.08 of the Revised Code, an election official shall not fill out any portion of an identification envelope statement of voter or an absent voter's ballot on behalf of an elector. A board of elections may preprint only an elector's name and address on an identification envelope statement of voter before mailing absent voter's ballots to the elector.

Sec. 3509.06.  (A) The board of elections shall determine whether absent voter's ballots shall be counted in each precinct, at the office of the board, or at some other location designated by the board, and shall proceed accordingly under division (B) or (C) of this section.

(B) When the board of elections determines that absent voter's ballots shall be counted in each precinct, the director shall deliver to the presiding judge of each precinct on election day identification envelopes purporting to contain absent voter's ballots of electors whose voting residence appears from the statement of voter on the outside of each of those envelopes, to be located in such presiding judge's precinct, and which were received by the director not later than the close of the polls on election day. The director shall deliver to such presiding judge a list containing the name and voting residence of each person whose voting residence is in such precinct to whom absent voter's ballots were mailed.

(C) When the board of elections determines that absent voter's ballots shall be counted at the office of the board of elections or at another location designated by the board, special election judges shall be appointed by the board for that purpose having the same authority as is exercised by precinct judges. The votes so cast shall be added to the vote totals by the board, and the absent voter's ballots shall be preserved separately by the board, in the same manner and for the same length of time as provided by section 3505.31 of the Revised Code.

(D) Each of the identification envelopes purporting to contain absent voter's ballots delivered to the presiding judge of the precinct or the special judge appointed by the board of elections shall be handled as follows: The

(1) The election officials shall compare the signature of the elector on the outside of the identification envelope with the signature of that elector on the elector's registration form and verify that the absent voter's ballot is eligible to be counted under section 3509.07 of the Revised Code. Any

(2) Any of the precinct officials may challenge the right of the elector named on the identification envelope to vote the absent voter's ballots upon the ground that the signature on the envelope is not the same as the signature on the registration form, that the identification envelope statement of voter is incomplete, or upon any other of the grounds upon which the right of persons to vote may be lawfully challenged. If

(3)(a) An identification envelope statement of voter shall be considered incomplete if it does not include all of the following:

(i) The voter's name;

(ii) The voter's residence address;

(iii) The voter's date of birth. The requirements of this division are satisfied if the voter provided a date of birth and any of the following is true:

(I) The month and day of the voter's date of birth on the identification envelope statement of voter are not different from the month and day of the voter's date of birth contained in the statewide voter registration database.

(II) The voter's date of birth contained in the statewide voter registration database is January 1, 1800.

(III) The board of elections has found, by a vote of at least three of its members, that the voter has met the requirements of divisions (D)(3)(a)(i), (ii), (iv), and (v) of this section.

(iv) The voter's signature; and

(v) One of the following forms of identification:

(I) The voter's driver's license number;

(II) The last four digits of the voter's social security number; or

(III) A copy of a current and valid photo identification, a military identification, or 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, that shows the voter's name and address.

(b) If the election officials find that the identification envelope statement of voter is incomplete or that the information contained in that statement does not conform to the information contained in the statewide voter registration database concerning the voter, the election officials shall mail a written notice to the voter, informing the voter of the nature of the defect. The notice shall inform the voter that in order for the voter's ballot to be counted, the voter must provide the necessary information to the board of elections in writing and on a form prescribed by the secretary of state not later than the seventh day after the day of the election. The voter may deliver the form to the office of the board in person or by mail. If the voter provides the necessary information to the board of elections not later than the seventh day after the day of the election and the ballot is not successfully challenged on another basis, the voter's ballot shall be counted in accordance with this section.

(4) If no such challenge is made, or if such a challenge is made and not sustained, the presiding judge shall open the envelope without defacing the statement of voter and without mutilating the ballots in it, and shall remove the ballots contained in it and proceed to count them.

(5) The name of each person voting who is entitled to vote only an absent voter's presidential ballot shall be entered in a pollbook or poll list or signature pollbook followed by the words "Absentee Presidential Ballot." The name of each person voting an absent voter's ballot, other than such persons entitled to vote only a presidential ballot, shall be entered in the pollbook or poll list or signature pollbook and the person's registration card marked to indicate that the person has voted.

(6) The date of such election shall also be entered on the elector's registration form. If any such challenge is made and sustained, the identification envelope of such elector shall not be opened, shall be endorsed "Not Counted" with the reasons the ballots were not counted, and shall be delivered to the board.

(E) Special election judges, employees or members of the board of elections, or observers shall not disclose the count or any portion of the count of absent voter's ballots prior to the time of the closing of the polling places. No person shall recklessly disclose the count or any portion of the count of absent voter's ballots in such a manner as to jeopardize the secrecy of any individual ballot.

(F) Observers may be appointed under section 3505.21 of the Revised Code to witness the examination and opening of identification envelopes and the counting of absent voters' ballots under this section.

Sec. 3509.07.  If election officials find that any of the following are true concerning an absent voter's ballot or absent voter's presidential ballot and, if applicable, the person did not provide any required additional information to the board of elections not later than the seventh day after the day of the election, as permitted under division (D)(3)(b) of section 3509.06 of the Revised Code, the ballot shall not be accepted or counted:

(A) The statement accompanying an absent voter's ballot or absent voter's presidential the ballot is incomplete as described in division (D)(3)(a) of section 3509.06 of the Revised Code or is insufficient, that the;

(B) The signatures do not correspond with the person's registration signature, that the;

(C) The applicant is not a qualified elector in the precinct, that the;

(D) The ballot envelope contains more than one ballot of any one kind, or any voted ballot that the elector is not entitled to vote, that;

(E) Stub A is detached from the absent voter's ballot or absent voter's presidential ballot, or that the; or

(F) The elector has not included with the elector's ballot any identification required under section 3509.05 or 3511.09 of the Revised Code, the vote shall not be accepted or counted. The

The vote of any absent voter may be challenged for cause in the same manner as other votes are challenged, and the election officials shall determine the legality of that ballot. Every ballot not counted shall be endorsed on its back "Not Counted" with the reasons the ballot was not counted, and shall be enclosed and returned to or retained by the board of elections along with the contested ballots.

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 3511.011 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 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, or a statement that the elector's parent or legal guardian resided in this state long enough to establish residency for voting purposes 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, or a statement that the elector's parent or legal guardian resided in this state long enough to establish residency for voting purposes 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 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, 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 six p.m. on the last Friday 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.

(E) A board of elections that mails a federal post card application or other absent voter's ballot application to an elector under this section shall not prepay the return postage for that application.

(F) Except as otherwise provided in this section and in sections 3505.24 and 3509.08 of the Revised Code, an election official shall not fill out any portion of a federal post card application or other application for absent voter's ballots on behalf of an applicant. The secretary of state or a board of elections may preprint only an applicant's name and address on a federal post card application or other application for absent voter's ballots before mailing that application to the applicant.

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, 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 other uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots.

A board of elections that mails or otherwise delivers uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots to an elector under this section shall not prepay the return postage for those 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. 3511.05.  (A) The director of the board of elections shall place uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots sent by mail in an unsealed identification envelope, gummed ready for sealing. The director shall include with uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots sent electronically, including by facsimile machine, an instruction sheet for preparing a gummed envelope in which the ballots shall be returned. The envelope for returning ballots sent by either means shall have printed or written on its face a form substantially as follows:

"Identification Envelope Statement of Voter

I, ........................(Name of voter), declare under penalty of election falsification that the within ballot or ballots contained no voting marks of any kind when I received them, and I caused the ballot or ballots to be marked, enclosed in the identification envelope, and sealed in that envelope.

My voting residence in Ohio is

...................................................................

(Street and Number, if any, or Rural Route and Number)

of ................................ (City, Village, or Township) Ohio, which is in Ward ............... Precinct ................ in that city, village, or township.

The primary election ballots, if any, within this envelope are primary election ballots of the ............. Party.

Ballots contained within this envelope are to be voted at the .......... (general, special, or primary) election to be held on the .......................... day of ......................, ....

My date of birth is ............... (Month and Day), .......... (Year).

(Voter must provide one of the following:)

My driver's license number is ............... (Driver's license number).

The last four digits of my Social Security Number are ............... (Last four digits of Social Security Number).

...... In lieu of providing a driver's license number or the last four digits of my Social Security Number, I am enclosing a copy of one of the following in the return envelope in which this identification envelope will be mailed: a current and valid photo identification, a military identification, or 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, that shows my name and address.

I hereby declare, under penalty of election falsification, that the statements above are true, as I verily believe.

(Signature of Voter)

WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE."

(B) The director shall also mail with the ballots and the unsealed identification envelope sent by mail an unsealed return envelope, gummed, ready for sealing, for use by the voter in returning the voter's marked ballots to the director. The director shall send with the ballots and the instruction sheet for preparing a gummed envelope sent electronically, including by facsimile machine, an instruction sheet for preparing a second gummed envelope as described in this division, for use by the voter in returning that voter's marked ballots to the director. The return envelope shall have two parallel lines, each one quarter of an inch in width, printed across its face paralleling the top, with an intervening space of one quarter of an inch between such lines. The top line shall be one and one-quarter inches from the top of the envelope. Between the parallel lines shall be printed: "OFFICIAL ELECTION UNIFORMED SERVICES OR OVERSEAS ABSENT VOTER'S BALLOTS -- VIA AIR MAIL." Three blank lines shall be printed in the upper left corner on the face of the envelope for the use by the voter in placing the voter's complete military, naval, or mailing address on these lines, and beneath these lines there shall be printed a box beside the words "check if out-of-country." The voter shall check this box if the voter will be outside the United States on the day of the election. The official title and the post-office address of the director to whom the envelope shall be returned shall be printed on the face of such envelope in the lower right portion below the bottom parallel line.

(C) On the back of each identification envelope and each return envelope shall be printed the following:

"Instructions to voter:

If the flap on this envelope is so firmly stuck to the back of the envelope when received by you as to require forcible opening in order to use it, open the envelope in the manner least injurious to it, and, after marking your ballots and enclosing same in the envelope for mailing them to the director of the board of elections, reclose the envelope in the most practicable way, by sealing or otherwise, and sign the blank form printed below.

The flap on this envelope was firmly stuck to the back of the envelope when received, and required forced opening before sealing and mailing.

(Signature of voter)"

(D) Division (C) of this section does not apply when absent voter's ballots are sent electronically, including by facsimile machine.

(E) Except as otherwise provided in this division and in sections 3505.24 and 3509.08 of the Revised Code, an election official shall not fill out any portion of an identification envelope statement of voter or an absent voter's ballot on behalf of an elector. A board of elections may preprint only an elector's name and address on an identification envelope statement of voter before mailing or electronically transmitting absent voter's ballots to the elector.

Sec. 3511.10.  If, after the thirty-fifth day and before the close of the polls on the day of a general or primary election, a valid application for uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots is delivered to the director of the board of elections at the office of the board by a person making the application on the person's own behalf, the director shall forthwith deliver to the person all uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots then ready for use, together with an identification envelope. The person shall then immediately retire to a voting booth in the office of the board, and mark the ballots. The person shall then fold each ballot separately so as to conceal the person's markings thereon, and deposit all of the ballots in the identification envelope and securely seal it. Thereupon the person shall fill in answers to the questions on the face of the identification envelope, and by writing the person's usual signature in the proper place thereon, the person shall declare under penalty of election falsification that the answers to those questions are true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief. The person shall then deliver the identification envelope to the director. If thereafter, and before the third day preceding such election, the board provides additional separate official issue or special election ballots, as provided for in section 3511.04 of the Revised Code, the director shall promptly, and not later than twelve noon of the third day preceding the day of election, mail such additional ballots to such person at the address specified by that person for that purpose. Except as otherwise provided in sections 3505.24 and 3509.08 of the Revised Code, an election official shall not fill out any portion of an application for absent voter's ballots, an identification envelope statement of voter, or an absent voter's ballot requested under this section on behalf of an applicant.

In the event any person serving in the armed forces of the United States is discharged after the closing date of registration, and that person or that person's spouse, or both, meets all the other qualifications set forth in section 3511.011 of the Revised Code, the person or spouse shall be permitted to vote prior to the date of the election in the office of the board in the person's or spouse's county, as set forth in this section.

SECTION 2.  That existing sections 3501.05, 3505.24, 3509.03, 3509.04, 3509.06, 3509.07, 3511.02, 3511.04, 3511.05, and 3511.10 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any provision of section 3501.05 of the Revised Code to the contrary, as amended by this act, the Secretary of State may mail unsolicited applications for absent voter's ballots to individuals for elections occurring in 2014, regardless of whether the General Assembly has made an appropriation for that purpose.

SECTION 4. Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this act take effect June 1, 2014.

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