arrowSection 5.1 - Polling Place Rules

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

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Relevant Ohio Revised Code Statutes

§ 3501.29. Polling places.

(A) The board of elections shall provide for each precinct a polling place and provide adequate facilities at each polling place for conducting the election. The board shall provide a sufficient number of screened or curtained voting compartments to which electors may retire and conveniently mark their ballots, protected from the observation of others. Each voting compartment shall be provided at all times with writing implements, instructions how to vote, and other necessary conveniences for marking the ballot. The presiding judge shall ensure that the voting compartments at all times are adequately lighted and contain the necessary supplies. The board shall utilize, in so far as practicable, rooms in public schools and other public buildings for polling places. Upon application of the board of elections, the authority which has the control of any building or grounds supported by taxation under the laws of this state, shall make available the necessary space therein for the purpose of holding elections and adequate space for the storage of voting machines, without charge for the use thereof. A reasonable sum may be paid for necessary janitorial service. When polling places are established in private buildings, the board may pay a reasonable rental therefor, and also the cost of liability insurance covering the premises when used for election purposes, or the board may purchase a single liability policy covering the board and the owners of the premises when used for election purposes. When removable buildings are supplied by the board, they shall be constructed under the contract let to the lowest and best bidder, and the board shall observe all ordinances and regulations then in force as to safety. The board shall remove all such buildings from streets and other public places within thirty days after an election, unless another election is to be held within ninety days.

(B) The board shall assure that polling places are free of barriers that would impede ingress and egress of handicapped persons, that the entrances of polling places are level or are provided with a nonskid ramp of not over eight per cent gradient, and that doors are a minimum of thirty-two inches wide. Each county shall comply with these requirements according to the following timetable:

(1) At least fifty per cent of the polling places in each county shall be in compliance by November 1, 1980;

(2) At least seventy-five per cent of the polling places in each county shall be in compliance by November 1, 1981;

(3) All polling places in each county shall be in compliance by November 1, 1982, except those that are specifically exempted by the secretary of state upon certification by a board of elections that a good faith, but unsuccessful, effort has been made to modify, or change the location of, such polling places.

(C) At any polling place that is not in compliance with the requirements of division (B) of this section or is exempted from compliance by the secretary of state, the board of elections shall permit any handicapped elector who travels to that elector's polling place, but who is unable to enter the polling place, to vote, with the assistance of two polling place officials of major political parties, in the vehicle that conveyed that elector to the polling place, or to receive and cast that elector's ballot at the door of the polling place.

(D) The secretary of state shall:

(1) Work with other state agencies to facilitate the distribution of information and technical assistance to boards of elections to meet the requirements of division (B) of this section;

(2) Work with organizations that represent or provide services to handicapped, disabled, or elderly citizens to effect a wide dissemination of information about the availability of absentee voting, voting in the voter's vehicle or at the door of the polling place, or other election services to handicapped, disabled, or elderly citizens.

(E) As used in this section, "handicapped" means having lost the use of one or both legs, one or both arms, or any combination thereof, or being blind or so severely disabled as to be unable to move about without the aid of crutches or a wheelchair.

§ 3501.30. Supplies for polling places.

(A) The board of elections shall provide for each polling place the necessary ballot boxes, official ballots, cards of instructions, registration forms, pollbooks or poll lists, tally sheets, forms on which to make summary statements, writing implements, paper, and all other supplies necessary for casting and counting the ballots and recording the results of the voting at the polling place. The pollbooks or poll lists shall have certificates appropriately printed on them for the signatures of all the precinct officials, by which they shall certify that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, the pollbooks or poll lists correctly show the names of all electors who voted in the polling place at the election indicated in the pollbook or poll list.

All of the following shall be included among the supplies provided to each polling place:

(1) A large map of each appropriate precinct , which shall be displayed prominently to assist persons who desire to register or vote on election day. Each map shall show all streets within the precinct and contain identifying symbols of the precinct in bold print.

(2) Any materials, postings, or instructions required to comply with state or federal laws;

(3) A flag of the United States approximately two and one-half feet in length along the top, which shall be displayed outside the entrance to the polling place during the time it is open for voting;

(4) Two or more small flags of the United States approximately fifteen inches in length along the top , which shall be placed at a distance of one hundred feet from the polling place on the thoroughfares or walkways leading to the polling place, to mark the distance within which persons other than election officials, witnesses, challengers, police officers, and electors waiting to mark, marking, or casting their ballots shall not loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning. Where small flags cannot reasonably be placed one hundred feet from the polling place, the presiding election judge shall place the flags as near to one hundred feet from the entrance to the polling place as is physically possible. Police officers and all election officials shall see that this prohibition against loitering and congregating is enforced.

When the period of time during which the polling place is open for voting expires, all of the flags described in this division shall be taken into the polling place, and shall be returned to the board together with all other election supplies required to be delivered to the board.

(B) The board of elections shall follow the instructions and advisories of the secretary of state in the production and use of polling place supplies.

§ 3501.30. Supplies for polling places. (Effective 5/2/06)

A) The board of elections shall provide for each polling place the necessary ballot boxes, official ballots, cards of instructions, registration forms, pollbooks or poll lists, tally sheets, forms on which to make summary statements, writing implements, paper, and all other supplies necessary for casting and counting the ballots and recording the results of the voting at the polling place. The pollbooks or poll lists shall have certificates appropriately printed on them for the signatures of all the precinct officials, by which they shall certify that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, the pollbooks or poll lists correctly show the names of all electors who voted in the polling place at the election indicated in the pollbooks or poll lists.


All of the following shall be included among the supplies provided to each polling place:


(1) A large map of each appropriate precinct, which shall be displayed prominently to assist persons who desire to register or vote on election day. Each map shall show all streets within the precinct and contain identifying symbols of the precinct in bold print.


(2) Any materials, postings, or instructions required to comply with state or federal laws;


(3) A flag of the United States approximately two and one-half feet in length along the top, which shall be displayed outside the entrance to the polling place during the time it is open for voting;


(4) Two or more small flags of the United States approximately fifteen inches in length along the top, which shall be placed at a distance of one hundred feet from the polling place on the thoroughfares or walkways leading to the polling place, to mark the distance within which persons other than election officials, observers, police officers, and electors waiting to mark, marking, or casting their ballots shall not loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning. Where small flags cannot reasonably be placed one hundred feet from the polling place, the presiding election judge shall place the flags as near to one hundred feet from the entrance to the polling place as is physically possible. Police officers and all election officials shall see that this prohibition against loitering and congregating is enforced.


When the period of time during which the polling place is open for voting expires, all of the flags described in this division shall be taken into the polling place, and shall be returned to the board together with all other election supplies required to be delivered to the board.


(B) The board of elections shall follow the instructions and advisories of the secretary of state in the production and use of polling place supplies.

§ 3501.301. Contract for supplies other than ballots.

A contract involving a cost in excess of ten thousand dollars for printing and furnishing supplies, other than the official ballots, required in section 3501.30 of the Revised Code, shall not be let until the board of elections has caused notice to be published once in a newspaper of general circulation within the county or upon notice given by mail, addressed to the responsible suppliers within the state. The board of elections may require that each bid be accompanied by a bond, with at least two individual sureties, or a surety company, satisfactory to the board, in a sum double the amount of the bid, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract awarded and for the payment as damages by such bidder to the board of any excess of cost over the bid which it may be required to pay for such work by reason of the failure of the bidder to complete the contract. The contract shall be let to the lowest and best bidder.

§ 3501.31. Notice mailed to election officials; delivery of supplies; oath of officials; vacancies.

The board of elections shall mail to each precinct election official notice of the date, hours, and place of holding each election in the official's respective precinct at which it desires the official to serve. Each of such officials shall notify the board immediately upon receipt of such notice of any inability to serve.

The election official designated as presiding judge under section 3501.22 of the Revised Code shall call at the office of the board at such time before the day of the election, not earlier than the tenth day before the day of the election, as the board designates to obtain the ballots, pollbooks, registration forms and lists, and other material to be used in the official's polling place on election day.

The board may also provide for the delivery of such materials to polling places in a municipal corporation by members of the police department of such municipal corporation; or the board may provide for the delivery of such materials to the presiding judge not earlier than the tenth day before the election, in any manner it finds to be advisable.

On election day the precinct election officials shall punctually attend the polling place one-half hour before the time fixed for opening the polls. Each of the precinct election officials shall thereupon make and subscribe to a statement which shall be as follows:

"State of Ohio
County of ..............
I do solemnly swear under the penalty of perjury that I will support the constitution of the United States of America and the constitution of the state of Ohio and its laws; that I have not been convicted of a felony or any violation of the election laws; that I will discharge to the best of my ability the duties of .................... (judge or clerk) .................... of election in and for precinct .................... in the .................... (township) or (ward and city or village) .................... in the county of ...................., in the election to be held on the .......... day of ..............., ....., as required by law and the rules and instructions of the board of elections of said county; and that I will endeavor to prevent fraud in such election, and will report immediately to said board any violations of the election laws which come to my attention, and will not disclose any information as to how any elector voted which is gained by me in the discharge of my official duties.
..............................................................................
..............................................................................
..............................................................................
..............................................................................
..............................................................................
(Signatures of precinct election officials)"

If any of the other precinct officials is absent at that time, the presiding judge, with the concurrence of a majority of the precinct election officials present, shall appoint a qualified elector who is a member of the same political party as the political party of which such absent precinct election official is a member to fill the vacancy until the board appoints a person to fill such vacancy and the person so appointed reports for duty at the polling place. The presiding judge shall promptly notify the board of such vacancy by telephone or otherwise. The presiding judge also shall assign the precinct election officials to their respective duties and shall have general charge of the polling place.

§ 3501.32. Opening and closing the polls.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, on the day of the election the polls shall be opened by proclamation by the presiding judge, or in his absence by a presiding judge chosen by the judges, at six-thirty a.m. and shall be closed by proclamation at seven-thirty p.m. unless there are voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, in which case the polls shall be kept open until such waiting voters have voted.

(B) On the day of the election, any polling place located on an island not connected to the mainland by a highway or a bridge may close earlier than seven-thirty p.m. if all registered voters in the precinct have voted. When a polling place closes under division (B) of this section the presiding judge shall immediately notify the board of elections of the closing.

§ 3501.33. Authority of precinct officers.

All judges of election shall enforce peace and good order in and about the place of registration or election. They shall especially keep the place of access of the electors to the polling place open and unobstructed and prevent and stop any improper practices or attempts tending to obstruct, intimidate, or interfere with any elector in registering or voting. They shall protect challengers and witnesses against molestation and violence in the performance of their duties, and may eject from the polling place any such challenger or witness for violation of any provision of Title XXXV [35] of the Revised Code. They shall prevent riots, violence, tumult, or disorder. In the discharge of these duties they may call upon the sheriff, police, or other peace officers to aid them in enforcing the law. They may order the arrest of any person violating such title, but such arrest shall not prevent such person from registering or voting if he is entitled to do so. The sheriff, all constables, police officers, and other officers of the peace shall immediately obey and aid in the enforcement of any lawful order made by the precinct election officials in the enforcement of such title.

§ 3501.33. Authority of precinct officers. (Effective 5/2/06)

All judges of election shall enforce peace and good order in and about the place of registration or election. They shall especially keep the place of access of the electors to the polling place open and unobstructed and prevent and stop any improper practices or attempts tending to obstruct, intimidate, or interfere with any elector in registering or voting. They shall protect observers against molestation and violence in the performance of their duties, and may eject from the polling place any such observer for violation of any provision of Title XXXV of the Revised Code. They shall prevent riots, violence, tumult, or disorder. In the discharge of these duties, they may call upon the sheriff, police, or other peace officers to aid them in enforcing the law. They may order the arrest of any person violating Title XXXV of the Revised Code, but such an arrest shall not prevent the person from registering or voting if the person is entitled to do so. The sheriff, all constables, police officers, and other officers of the peace shall immediately obey and aid in the enforcement of any lawful order made by the precinct election officials in the enforcement of Title XXXV of the Revised Code.

§ 3501.34. Duty of police.

The officer or authority having command of the police force of any municipal corporation or the sheriff of any county, on requisition of the board of elections or the secretary of state, shall promptly detail for service at the polling place in any precinct of such municipal corporation or county such force as the board or secretary of state considers necessary. On every day of election such officer or authority shall have a special force in readiness for any emergency and for assignment to duty in the precinct polling places. At least one policeman shall be assigned to duty in each precinct on each day of an election, when requested by the board or the secretary of state. Such police officer shall have access at all times to the polling place, and he shall promptly place under arrest any person found violating any provisions of Title XXXV [35] of the Revised Code.

§ 3501.35. No loitering near polls.

During an election and the counting of the ballots, no person shall loiter or congregate within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place; in any manner hinder or delay an elector in reaching or leaving the place fixed for casting his ballot; within such distance give, tender, or exhibit any ballot or ticket to any person other than his own ballot to the judge of election; exhibit any ticket or ballot which he intends to cast; or solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any elector in casting his vote. No person, not an election official, employee, witness, challenger, or police officer, shall be allowed to enter the polling place during the election, except for the purpose of voting. No more electors shall be allowed to approach the voting shelves at any time than there are voting shelves provided. The judges of election and the police officer shall strictly enforce the observance of this section.

§ 3501.35. No loitering near polls. (Effective 5/2/06)

(A) During an election and the counting of the ballots, no person shall do any of the following:


(1) Loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;


(2) In any manner hinder or delay an elector in reaching or leaving the place fixed for casting the elector's ballot;


(3) Give, tender, or exhibit any ballot or ticket to any person other than the elector's own ballot to the judge of election within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;


(4) Exhibit any ticket or ballot which the elector intends to cast;


(5) Solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any elector in casting the elector's vote.


(B) Except as otherwise provided in division (C) of section 3503.23 of the Revised Code, no person who is not an election official, employee, observer, or police officer, shall be allowed to enter the polling place during the election, except for the purpose of voting or assisting another person to vote as provided in section 3505.24 of the Revised Code.


(C) No more electors shall be allowed to approach the voting shelves at any time than there are voting shelves provided.


(D) The judges of election and the police officer shall strictly enforce the observance of this section.

§ 3501.36. Fee and mileage to precinct official delivering or returning election supplies.

Each precinct election official who before the day of an election in his precinct obtains ballots, pollbooks, or other materials to be used in his polling place on the day of such election and delivers such materials to his polling place on the day of such election as required by section 3501.31 of the Revised Code and the orders of the board of elections, and each precinct election official who delivers such materials and the returns and records of an election from the polling place to the office of the board after an election, as required by section 3505.31 of the Revised Code and the orders of the board, may receive, in addition to the compensation provided under section 3501.28 of the Revised Code, a sum not to exceed five dollars for each trip to the polling place and five dollars for each trip from the polling place to the office of the board, plus mileage for each trip at the rate provided by rules governing travel adopted by the office of budget and management in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

§ 3501.37. Return of booths and other equipment.

After each election, the judges of elections of each precinct, except when the board of elections assumes the duty, shall see that the movable booths and other equipment are returned for safekeeping to the fiscal officer of the township or to the clerk or auditor of the municipal corporation in which the precinct is situated. Such The fiscal officer, clerk, or auditor shall have booths and equipment on hand and in place at the polling places in each precinct before the time for opening the polls on election days, and for this service the board may allow the necessary expenses incurred. In cities, this duty shall devolve on the board.

§ 3501.38. Declaration of candidacy, nomination petition, and other petition requirements; withdrawal of elector's name from petition.

All declarations of candidacy, nominating petitions, or other petitions presented to or filed with the secretary of state or a board of elections or with any other public office for the purpose of becoming a candidate for any nomination or office or for the holding of an election on any issue shall, in addition to meeting the other specific requirements prescribed in the sections of the Revised Code relating to them, be governed by the following rules:

(A) Only electors qualified to vote on the candidacy or issue which is the subject of the petition shall sign a petition. Each signer shall be a registered elector pursuant to section 3503.11 of the Revised Code. The facts of qualification shall be determined as of the date when the petition is filed.

(B) Signatures shall be affixed in ink. Each signer may also print the signer's name, so as to clearly identify the signer's signature.

(C) Each signer shall place on the petition after the signer's name the date of signing and the location of the signer's voting residence, including the street and number if in a municipal corporation or the rural route number, post office address, or township if outside a municipal corporation. The voting address given on the petition shall be the address appearing in the registration records at the board of elections.

(D) No person shall write any name other than the person's own on any petition. No person may authorize another to sign for the person. Where a petition contains the signature of an elector two or more times, only the first signature shall be counted.

(E) On each petition paper, the circulator shall indicate the number of signatures contained on it, and shall sign a statement made under penalty of election falsification that the circulator witnessed the affixing of every signature, that all signers were to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief qualified to sign, and that every signature is to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief the signature of the person whose signature it purports to be.

(F) If a circulator knowingly permits an unqualified person to sign a petition paper or permits a person to write a name other than the person's own on a petition paper, that petition paper is invalid; otherwise, the signature of a person not qualified to sign shall be rejected but shall not invalidate the other valid signatures on the paper.

(G) The circulator of a petition may, before filing it in a public office, strike from it any signature the circulator does not wish to present as a part of the petition.

(H) Any signer of a petition may remove the signer's signature from that petition at any time before the petition is filed in a public office by striking the signer's name from the petition; no signature may be removed after the petition is filed in any public office.

(I) (1) No alterations, corrections, or additions may be made to a petition after it is filed in a public office.

(2) No petition may be withdrawn after it is filed in a public office. Nothing in this division prohibits a person from withdrawing as a candidate as otherwise provided by law.

(J) All declarations of candidacy, nominating petitions, or other petitions under this section shall be accompanied by the following statement in boldface capital letters: WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE.

(K) All separate petition papers shall be filed at the same time, as one instrument.

(L) If a board of elections distributes for use a petition form for a declaration of candidacy, nominating petition, declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, or any type of question or issue petition that does not satisfy the requirements of law as of the date of that distribution, and if that petition form is subsequently filed with the board within ninety days of when the petition is required to be filed, the board shall not invalidate the petition on the basis that the petition form does not satisfy the requirements of law, if the petition otherwise is valid. Division (L) of this section does not apply if the candidate fails to file the petition with the board within ninety days of when the petition is required to be filed.

§ 3501.38. Declaration of candidacy, nomination petition, and other petition requirements; withdrawal of elector's name from petition. (Effective 5/2/06)

All declarations of candidacy, nominating petitions, or other petitions presented to or filed with the secretary of state or a board of elections or with any other public office for the purpose of becoming a candidate for any nomination or office or for the holding of an election on any issue shall, in addition to meeting the other specific requirements prescribed in the sections of the Revised Code relating to them, be governed by the following rules:


(A) Only electors qualified to vote on the candidacy or issue which is the subject of the petition shall sign a petition. Each signer shall be a registered elector pursuant to section 3503.11 of the Revised Code. The facts of qualification shall be determined as of the date when the petition is filed.


(B) Signatures shall be affixed in ink. Each signer may also print the signer's name, so as to clearly identify the signer's signature.


(C) Each signer shall place on the petition after the signer's name the date of signing and the location of the signer's voting residence, including the street and number if in a municipal corporation or the rural route number, post office address, or township if outside a municipal corporation. The voting address given on the petition shall be the address appearing in the registration records at the board of elections.


(D) Except as otherwise provided in section 3501.382 of the Revised Code, no person shall write any name other than the person's own on any petition. Except as otherwise provided in section 3501.382 of the Revised Code, no person may authorize another to sign for the person. If a petition contains the signature of an elector two or more times, only the first signature shall be counted.


(E)

(1) On each petition paper, the circulator shall indicate the number of signatures contained on it, and shall sign a statement made under penalty of election falsification that the circulator witnessed the affixing of every signature, that all signers were to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief qualified to sign, and that every signature is to the best of the circulator's knowledge and belief the signature of the person whose signature it purports to be or of an attorney in fact acting pursuant to section 3501.382 of the Revised Code. On the circulator's statement for a declaration of candidacy or nominating petition for a person seeking to become a statewide candidate or for a statewide initiative or a statewide referendum petition, the circulator shall identify the circulator's name, the address of the circulator's permanent resident, and the name and address of the person employing the circulator to circulate the petition, if any.


(2) As used in division (E) of this section, "statewide candidate" means the joint candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor or a candidate for the office of secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, or attorney general.


(F) Except as otherwise provided in section 3501.382 of the Revised Code, if a circulator knowingly permits an unqualified person to sign a petition paper or permits a person to write a name other than the person's own on a petition paper, that petition paper is invalid; otherwise, the signature of a person not qualified to sign shall be rejected but shall not invalidate the other valid signatures on the paper.


(G) The circulator of a petition may, before filing it in a public office, strike from it any signature the circulator does not wish to present as a part of the petition.


(H) Any signer of a petition or an attorney in fact acting pursuant to section 3501.382 of the Revised Code on behalf of a signer may remove the signer's signature from that petition at any time before the petition is filed in a public office by striking the signer's name from the petition; no signature may be removed after the petition is filed in any public office.


(I)

(1) No alterations, corrections, or additions may be made to a petition after it is filed in a public office.


(2) No petition may be withdrawn after it is filed in a public office. Nothing in this division prohibits a person from withdrawing as a candidate as otherwise provided by law.


(J) All declarations of candidacy, nominating petitions, or other petitions under this section shall be accompanied by the following statement in boldface capital letters: WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE.


(K) All separate petition papers shall be filed at the same time, as one instrument.


(L) If a board of elections distributes for use a petition form for a declaration of candidacy, nominating petition, or any type of question or issue petition that does not satisfy the requirements of law as of the date of that distribution, the board shall not invalidate the petition on the basis that the petition form does not satisfy the requirements of law, if the petition otherwise is valid. Division (L) of this section applies only if the candidate received the petition from the board within ninety days of when the petition is required to be filed.

§ 3501.382. Power of attorney for disabled voters. (Effective 5/2/06)

(A)

(1) A registered voter who, by reason of disability, is unable to physically sign the voter's name as a candidate, signer, or circulator on a declaration of candidacy and petition, nominating petition, other petition, or other document under Title XXXV of the Revised Code may authorize a legally competent resident of this state who is eighteen years of age or older as an attorney in fact to sign that voter's name to the petition or other election document, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence, in accordance with either of the following procedures:


(a) The voter may file with the board of elections of the voter's county of residence a notarized form that includes or has attached all of the following:


(i) The name of the voter who is authorizing an attorney in fact to sign petitions or other election documents on that voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence;


(ii) An attestation of the voter that the voter, by reason of disability, is unable to sign physically petitions or other election documents and that the voter desires the attorney in fact to sign them on the voter's behalf, at the direction of the voter and in the voter's presence;


(iii) The name, residence address, date of birth, and, if applicable, Ohio supreme court registration number of the attorney in fact authorized to sign on the voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence. A photocopy of the attorney in fact's driver's license or state identification card issued under section 4507.50 of the Revised Code shall be attached to the notarized form.


(iv) The form of the signature that the attorney in fact will use in signing petitions or other election documents on the voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence.


(b) The voter may acknowledge, before an election official, and file with the board of elections of the voter's county of residence a form that includes or has attached all of the following:


(i) The name of the voter who is authorizing an attorney in fact to sign petitions or other election documents on that voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence;


(ii) An attestation of the voter that the voter, by reason of disability, is physically unable to sign petitions or other election documents and that the voter desires the attorney in fact to sign them on the voter's behalf, at the direction of the voter and in the voter's presence;


(iii) An attestation from a licensed physician that the voter is disabled and, by reason of that disability, is physically unable to sign petitions or other election documents;


(iv) The name, residence address, date of birth, and, if applicable, Ohio supreme court registration number of the attorney in fact authorized to sign on the voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence. A photocopy of the attorney in fact's driver's license or state identification card issued under section 4507.50 of the Revised Code shall be attached to the notarized form.


(v) The form of the signature that the attorney in fact will use in signing petitions or other election documents on the voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence.


(2) In addition to performing customary notarial acts with respect to the power of attorney form described in division (A)(1)(a) of this section, the notary public shall acknowledge that the voter in question affirmed in the presence of the notary public the information listed in divisions (A)(1)(a)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section. A notary public shall not perform any notarial acts with respect to such a power of attorney form unless the voter first gives such an affirmation. Only a notary public satisfying the requirements of section 147.01 of the Revised Code may perform notarial acts with respect to such a power of attorney form.


(B) A board of elections that receives a form under division (A)(1) of this section from a voter shall do both of the following:


(1) Use the signature provided in accordance with division (A)(1)(a)(iv) or (A)(1)(b)(v) of this section for the purpose of verifying the voter's signature on all declarations of candidacy and petitions, nominating petitions, other petitions, or other documents signed by that voter under Title XXXV of the Revised Code;


(2) Cause the poll list or signature pollbook for the relevant precinct to identify the voter in question as having authorized an attorney in fact to sign petitions or other election documents on the voter's behalf, at the voter's direction and in the voter's presence.


(C) Notwithstanding division (D) of section 3501.38 or any other provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, an attorney in fact authorized to sign petitions or other election documents on a disabled voter's behalf, at the direction of and in the presence of that voter, in accordance with division (A) of this section may sign that voter's name to any petition or other election document under Title XXXV of the Revised Code after the power of attorney has been filed with the board of elections in accordance with division (A)(1) of this section. The signature shall be deemed to be that of the disabled voter, and the voter shall be deemed to be the signer.


(D)

(1) Notwithstanding division (F) of section 3501.38 or any other provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, the circulator of a petition may knowingly permit an attorney in fact to sign the petition on a disabled voter's behalf, at the direction of and in the presence of that voter, in accordance with division (A)(1) of this section.


(2) Notwithstanding division (F) of section 3501.38 or any other provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, no petition paper shall be invalidated on the ground that the circulator knowingly permitted an attorney in fact to write a name other than the attorney in fact's own name on a petition paper, if that attorney in fact signed the petition on a disabled voter's behalf, at the direction of and in the presence of that voter, in accordance with division (C) of this section.


(E) The secretary of state shall prescribe the form and content of the form for the power of attorney prescribed under division (A)(1) of this section and also shall prescribe the form and content of a distinct form to revoke such a power of attorney.


(F) As used in this section, "unable to physically sign" means that the person with a disability cannot comply with the provisions of section 3501.011 of the Revised Code. A person is not "unable to physically sign" if the person is able to comply with section 3501.011 through reasonable accommodation, including the use of assistive technology or augmentative devices.

§ 3501.39. Grounds for rejection of petition.

(A) The secretary of state or a board of elections shall accept any petition described in section 3501.38 of the Revised Code unless one of the following occurs:

(1) A written protest against the petition or candidacy, naming specific objections, is filed, a hearing is held, and a determination is made by the election officials with whom the protest is filed that the petition is invalid, in accordance with any section of the Revised Code providing a protest procedure.

(2) A written protest against the petition or candidacy, naming specific objections, is filed, a hearing is held, and a determination is made by the election officials with whom the protest is filed that the petition violates any requirement established by law.

(3) The candidate's candidacy or the petition violates the requirements of this chapter, Chapter 3513. of the Revised Code, or any other requirements established by law.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in section 3513.052 [3513.05.2] of the Revised Code, a board of elections shall not invalidate any declaration of candidacy or nominating petition under division (A)(3) of this section after the fiftieth day prior to the election at which the candidate seeks nomination to office, if the candidate filed a declaration of candidacy, or election to office, if the candidate filed a nominating petition.

§ 3501.39. Grounds for rejection of petition. (Effective 5/2/06)

(A) The secretary of state or a board of elections shall accept any petition described in section 3501.38 of the Revised Code unless one of the following occurs:


(1) A written protest against the petition or candidacy, naming specific objections, is filed, a hearing is held, and a determination is made by the election officials with whom the protest is filed that the petition is invalid, in accordance with any section of the Revised Code providing a protest procedure.


(2) A written protest against the petition or candidacy, naming specific objections, is filed, a hearing is held, and a determination is made by the election officials with whom the protest is filed that the petition violates any requirement established by law.


(3) The candidate's candidacy or the petition violates the requirements of this chapter, Chapter 3513. of the Revised Code, or any other requirements established by law.


(B) Except as otherwise provided in division (C) of this section or section 3513.052 of the Revised Code, a board of elections shall not invalidate any declaration of candidacy or nominating petition under division (A)(3) of this section after the fiftieth day prior to the election at which the candidate seeks nomination to office, if the candidate filed a declaration of candidacy, or election to office, if the candidate filed a nominating petition.


(C)

(1) If a petition is filed for the nomination or election of a candidate in a charter municipal corporation with a filing deadline that occurs after the seventy-fifth day before the day of the election, a board of elections may invalidate the petition within fifteen days after the date of that filing deadline.


(2) If a petition for the nomination or election of a candidate is invalidated under division (C)(1) of this section, that person's name shall not appear on the ballots for any office for which the person's petition has been invalidated. If the ballots have already been prepared, the board of elections shall remove the name of that person from the ballots to the extent practicable in the time remaining before the election. If the name is not removed from the ballots before the day of the election, the votes for that person are void and shall not be counted.

§ 3501.90. Harassment of elector; civil action. (Effective 5/2/06)

(A) As used in this section:


(1) "Harassment in violation of the election law" means either of the following:


(a) Any of the following types of conduct in or about a polling place or a place of registration or election: obstructing access of an elector to a polling place; another improper practice or attempt tending to obstruct, intimidate, or interfere with an elector in registering or voting at a place of registration or election; molesting or otherwise engaging in violence against observers in the performance of their duties at a place of registration or election; or participating in a riot, violence, tumult, or disorder in and about a place of registration or election;


(b) A violation of division (A)(1), (2), (3), or (5) or division (B) of section 3501.35 of the Revised Code.


(2) "Person" has the same meaning as in division (C) of section 1.59 of the Revised Code and also includes any organization that is not otherwise covered by that division.


(3) "Trier of fact" means the jury or, in a nonjury action, the court.


(B) An elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law has a cause of action against each person that committed the harassment in violation of the election law. In any civil action based on this cause of action, the elector may seek a declaratory judgment, an injunction, or other appropriate equitable relief. The civil action may be commenced by an elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law either alone or as a party to a class action under Civil Rule 23.


(C)

(1) In addition to the equitable relief authorized by division (B) of this section, an elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law may be entitled to relief under division (C)(2) or (3) of this section.


(2) If the harassment in violation of the election law involved intentional or reckless threatening or causing of bodily harm to the elector while the elector was attempting to register to vote, to obtain an absent voter's ballot, or to vote, the elector may seek, in a civil action based on the cause of action created by division (B) of this section, monetary damages as prescribed in this division. The civil action may be commenced by the elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law either alone or as a party to a class action under Civil Rule 23. Upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence in the civil action that the harassment in violation of the election law involved intentional or reckless threatening or causing of bodily harm to the elector, the trier of fact shall award the elector the greater of three times of the amount of the elector's actual damages or one thousand dollars. The court also shall award a prevailing elector reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.


(3) Whether a civil action on the cause of action created by division (B) of this section is commenced by an elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law alone or as a party to a class action under Civil Rule 23, if the defendant in the action is an organization that has previously been determined in a court of this state to have engaged in harassment in violation of the election law, the elector may seek an order of the court granting any of the following forms of relief upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence:


(a) Divestiture of the organization's interest in any enterprise or in any real property;


(b) Reasonable restrictions upon the future activities or investments of the organization, including, but not limited to, prohibiting the organization from engaging in any harassment in violation of the election law;


(c) The dissolution or reorganization of the organization;


(d) The suspension or revocation of any license, permit, or prior approval granted to the organization by any state agency;


(e) The revocation of the organization's authorization to do business in this state if the organization is a foreign corporation or other form of foreign entity.


(D) It shall not be a defense in a civil action based on the cause of action created by division (B) of this section, whether commenced by an elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law alone or as a party to a class action under Civil Rule 23, that no criminal prosecution was commenced or conviction obtained in connection with the conduct alleged to be the basis of the civil action.


(E) In a civil action based on the cause of action created by division (B) of this section, whether commenced by an elector who has experienced harassment in violation of the election law alone or as a party to a class action under Civil Rule 23, the elector may name as defendants each individual who engaged in conduct constituting harassment in violation of the election law as well as any person that employs, sponsors, or uses as an agent any such individual or that has organized a common scheme to cause harassment in violation of the election law.