130th Ohio General Assembly
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Am. S. B. No. 238  As Enrolled
(130th General Assembly)
(Amended Senate Bill Number 238)



AN ACT
To amend sections 3509.01 and 3511.10 of the Revised Code to reduce the days for absent voting.

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

SECTION 1.  That sections 3509.01 and 3511.10 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

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 other than in person on the forty-fifth day before the day of the election.

(2) For all other voters, other than overseas voters and absent uniformed services voters, who are applying to vote absent voter's ballots other than in person, ballots shall be printed and ready for use on the thirty-fifth first day before after the day of close of voter registration before the election.

(3) For all voters who are applying to vote absent voter's ballots in person, ballots shall be printed and ready for use beginning on the first day after the close of voter registration before the election.

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.

Sec. 3511.10.  If, after the thirty-fifth first day after the close of voter registration before a general or primary election and before the close of the polls on the day of a general or primary that 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.

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 3509.01 and 3511.10 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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

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