Chapter 111-16 Financial Assistance to Counties
As used in this rule:
(A) "Automatic tabulating equipment," "marking device" and "voting machine" have the same meanings as in section 3506.01 of the Revised Code.
(C) "Default" means non-payment of two consecutive monthly payments or non-payment of an annual payment in excess of thirty days beyond the scheduled payment date.
(D) "Emergency" means an unforeseen event, which includes, but is not limited to, equipment failure or budget constraints.
(E) "Equipment" has the same meaning as in section 3506.05 of the Revised Code.
(F) "Loan fund" means the county voting machine revolving lease/loan fund, which is to provide financial assistance to counties to meet current and future needs for voting equipment.
(G) "Secretary" means the Ohio secretary of state.
(A) A board of county commissioners, on behalf of its county board of elections, which has responsibilities related to the proper conduct of elections under state law, may apply for financial assistance from the loan fund.
(B) Participation by a board of county commissioners shall be voluntary.
(C) A county shall contribute to the cost of capital facilities. The secretary as the administrator of the loan fund acquisitions shall not authorize the contribution from the loan fund of more than fifty per cent of the estimated total cost of a county's purchase of voting machines, marking devices, and automatic tabulating equipment.
(D) Any costs incurred on or after January 1, 2008, by a county with respect to the purchase of voting machines, marking devices, and automatic tabulating equipment may be considered as the county cost percentage for the purpose of such acquisition.
(E) A loan fund acquisition for any one board of county commissioners shall not exceed five million dollars and shall be made only for new equipment purchased on or after the date applicable obligations have been issued by the Ohio building authority, the net proceeds of which have been transferred to the loan fund.
(F) Financial assistance shall be provided only to the extent that moneys are available in the loan fund.
(G) Loan funds shall only be used to finance eligible costs, which include:
(1) Automatic tabulating equipment, marking devices, and voting machines. Any such equipment must be examined and approved by a board of voting machine examiners pursuant to section 3506.05 of the Revised Code.
(A) Requests by counties in need of assistance from the loan fund shall be considered on a first come, first served basis in consideration of the available resources in the loan fund. Such requests shall be made on application forms prescribed by the secretary.
(B) Application forms shall address all of the following:
(1) Identification of the county and need for assistance;
(2) Identification of the specific types and quantity of equipment to be purchased;
(3) Documentation of local support in the form of a resolution from the board of county commissioners;
(4) Identification of the local or other sources of funding of at least fifty per cent of the total estimated cost necessary to complete the total project;
(5) Any additional information the secretary deems necessary to make a determination of the appropriateness of the funding.
(C) The secretary may approve any acquisition of automatic tabulating equipment, marking devices, and voting machines using money from the loan fund.
(D) Upon receipt of a complete application for a loan, the secretary shall review and approve the application, deny the application, or request additional information within forty-five days. In the case of an emergency, the secretary shall review and approve the application, deny the application, or request additional information within ten days.
(1) Any denial shall include a letter detailing the reason(s) for the denial. A board of county commissioners receiving a denial has thirty days to amend its original application in order to address the reasons for the denial.
(2) If a county requests that the application be reviewed under emergency procedures, then the secretary has sole discretion to determine if the application will be reviewed under emergency procedures. The secretary will base this decision on information that the county provides that outlines the basis for the need. The secretary will notify the county of this decision in writing.
(A) Counties shall lease from the secretary the equipment financed in part from the loan fund and shall be required to comply with any loan fund agreement or other agreement required under the applicable bond proceedings.
(B) All automatic tabulating equipment, marking devices, and voting machines purchased through the fund shall remain the property of the state, and the state shall retain title until all payments under the applicable county lease have been made. After final payment has been made, title shall transfer to the county.
(C) If the final cost of capital facilities is less expensive than the estimated total cost, then the loan fund must be reimbursed for its contributions that exceed the agreed upon percentage from the loan fund. A county has thirty days to reimburse the loan fund if such an event were to occur.
(D) Repayment of the loan shall be made by equal monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payments not to exceed a period of five years. The payment schedule shall be agreed on by the county and the secretary before the funding request is approved. If a county wishes to change the agreed upon payment schedule, then the secretary must approve the new payment schedule before it becomes effective.
(E) Interest shall not accrue on loans made to counties from the loan fund.
(F) Costs associated with the maintenance, repair, and operation of the automatic tabulating equipment, marking devices, and voting machines purchased shall be the responsibility of the participating county board of elections and boards of county commissioners.
(G) No board of county commissioners may apply for and receive a loan if that county currently has an outstanding loan from the loan fund, which is in default.
(A) If the secretary determines that a county is in default of any agreement, including its financial obligation to the loan fund, then the secretary may do the following:
(1) The secretary may seize any equipment purchased through the loan fund that is still considered property of the state. The secretary may resell the equipment, store the equipment, or redistribute the equipment and enter into a new agreement with another county to mitigate the loss to the loan fund.
(2) The secretary may, by civil action, mandamus, or other judicial or administrative proceeding, compel performance by a county commission of all the terms and conditions of the loan agreement between the two parties.
(B) If the county does not reimburse the loan fund the difference between the estimated cost and the final cost of the equipment within thirty days, then the secretary may, by civil action, mandamus, or other judicial or administrative proceeding, compel performance by a county commission.