arrowSection 5.1 - Polling Place Rules

This topic is monitored by Moritz Law Professor Terri L. Enns

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Election Offenses and Penalties

This chart is a quick summary of Ohio penalties for election-related offenses. Please consult the code for detailed explanations.

Offense ORC Section Penalty
Bribery 3599.01 F4 + forfeit nomination or office
Sale of vote by voter 3599.02 F4 + disenfranchised & no public office for 5 years
A: Corporation or labor organization using money or property for a political purpose
B: Corporation or union representative knowingly aiding in violation of A
3599.03 A = $500-$5,000

B = not more than $1000 and/or 1 yr
Payroll deduction of political contributions without proper written authorization 3599.031 $50-500 per disbursement
Contribution for illegal purposes 3599.04 $25-$500
Employer influencing political action of employee 3599.05 $500-$1,000
Employer interfering with employee on election day 3599.06 $50-$500
Owners, editors, writers, or employees using columns in newspapers, magazines or other publications to threaten or intimidate candidates or voters 3599.08 $500-$1,000
Simultaneously running for conflicting offices 3599.09 Not more than $500
Demanding that GA candidates pledge votes on legislation 3599.10 $500-$1,000
False registration; improper handling of forms 3599.11 Registering or aiding in false registration= F5
Mishandling forms = M1
Illegal voting 3599.12 F4
Unqualified person signing petitions 3599.13 $50-$500 and/or 3-6 months
Prohibitions relating to petitions 3599.14 M1
Sale, theft, destruction, mutilation of petitions 3599.15 F5
Board of Elections member or employee misconduct 3599.16 F4 + dismissal
Prohibiting or preventing access to public records filed in office of board of elections 3599.161 MM + dismissal
Failure to perform duties—registrars, judges, clerks 3599.17 M1
Misconduct—registrars, police officers 3599.18 M1
Misconduct—judges, clerks at polling place 3599.19 M1
General offenses concerning ballots 3599.20 F5
Offenses relating to absent voter’s ballots 3599.21 F4
Offenses relating to the printing of ballots 3599.22 M1
Offenses by custodian of ballots, papers, or marking devices 3599.23 Knowingly = M1
Negligence = M2
Interference with conduct of an election
--Possession of ballot boxes, destroying property
--Intimidation, destroying registration lists
--Loitering to hinder or delay, removing supplies
Inducing illegal voting 3599.25 F4
Tampering with ballots 3599.26 F5
Voting machines—possession, tampering 3599.27 F5
False signatures 3599.28 F5
Possession of false records 3599.29 F5
Failure of officer of law to assist election officers 3599.31 M1
Failure of election official to enforce law 3599.32 M1
Fraudulent writing on ballots or election records 3599.33 F5
Destruction of election records before expiration of time for contest 3599.34 F5
Proxies by party representatives, impersonation 3599.35 M1
Perjury in matters relating to elections; election falsification 3599.36 F5
Refusal to testify re violations of election law 3599.37 M1 (unless asserting constitutional rights)
Election officials influencing voters 3599.38 M1
Second offense under election law 3599.39 F4 + disenfranchised
General penalty 3599.40 M1
Communications purporting to be from Boards of Election 3599.43 $100-$1,000 and/or not more than 6 months

Penalties 1


F1 = mandatory 3-10 years imprisonment + optional fine of not more than $20,000
F2 = mandatory 2-8 years imprisonment + optional fine of not more than $15,000
F3 = mandatory 1-5 years imprisonment + optional fine of not more than $10,000
F4 = mandatory 6-18 month imprisonment + optional fine of not more than $5,000
F5 = mandatory 6-12 month imprisonment + optional fine of not more than $2,000


The court has discretion to determine the "most effective way to achieve the purposes and principles of sentencing set forth in section 2929.21 of the Revised Code" when imposing sentences for misdemeanors. 2  Sentences may include jail terms, community control sanctions, community residential sanctions, nonresidential sanctions, and financial sanctions. 3  If the court imposes jail time or fines, the following guidelines are in effect:

M1 = not more than 180 days in jail and/or fines of not more than $1,000
M2 = not more than 90 days in jail and/or fines of not more than $750
M3 = not more than 60 days in jail and/or fines of not more than $500
M4 = not more than 30 days in jail and/or fines of not more than $200
MM = no jail time, fines of not more than $150

[Posted: September 12, 2004]


1. U Ohio Revised Code §§ 2929.14, 2929.18, 2929.24, 2929.28 (West Supp. 2004)

2. Ohio Revised Code § 2929.22(A) (West Supp. 2004).

3. Id.