Chapter 111:3-5 Voter Registration
The program for registering voters at designated agencies shall be implemented by each such agency in accordance with a voter registration assistance plan adopted by each such agency and filed with and approved by the secretary of state. Administrative rules establish content and format requirements for designated agencies to follow in preparing a voter registration assistance plan specifying the resources and locations at which such agency will provide voter registration opportunities.
(A) The term "Plan" refers to the voter registration assistance plan to be prepared or updated annually by designated agencies specifying the resources and locations at which the agency will provide voter registration assistance opportunities.
(B) In order to implement the voter registration program set forth in section 3503.10 of the Revised Code, on or before March 1, 1995, each designated agency shall submit a plan to the secretary of state in accordance with administrative rules for approval.
On or before January first of each succeeding year, each designated agency shall submit any change or modifications to its plan to the secretary of state for approval.
The term "Registration Form" refers to the voter registration application prescribed by the secretary of state pursuant to section 3503.14 of the Revised Code.
The term "Agency Coordinator" refers to the person designated by the agency to be responsible for the preparation, filing, coordination and implementation of the plan and the agency's voter registration program. Each agency coordinator shall also serve as the contact person for responding to questions or concerns raised by a board of elections or the secretary of state.
"Declination Form" means a voter registration form which has been presented to any agency consumer, and been returned, but which contains no mark or contains a mark in the "no" box following the question "do you want to register or update your current registration", regardless of whether such form contains a signature or other identification of the person who received the form and responded "no."
Each plan shall specify the procedures and personnel through which each designated agency will provide opportunities for its consumers to register to vote, and shall include:
(A) The name, address, and the telephone number of the person or persons who shall serve as the agency coordinator;
(B) A procedure to be administered as part of the agency's intake process which requires that each agency consumer be offered a registration form and the opportunity for assistance in completing such form;
(C) If the agency is an office or agency of the state that provides public assistance or that provides state funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities, a procedure to be administered as part of the agency's intake process which requires that each agency consumer receive a form prescribed by the secretary of state pursuant to division (C) of section 3503.10 of the Revised Code that contains the following:
(1) "Applying or declining to apply, to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency";
(2) Notice of name, address and phone number of the person or office who the applicant can contact if they believe that their right to register or decline to register to vote or their right to privacy in making this decision has been violated.
(D) A method for training each agency coordinator and other personnel who provide voter registration assistance including:
(1) Instructions that each designated agency person who assists with voter registration shall maintain strict neutrality with respect to a prospective registrant's political philosophy, right to register or decline to register, and shall not make any statements or take any action which may influence a person's decision to register or decline to register.
(2) Instructions that each designated agency person who assists with voter registration, shall not display or demonstrate any political preference or party allegiance, or make any statement or take any action, the purpose or effect of which is, to lead a prospective registrant to believe that a decision to register or decline to register will impact the amount or type of services or assistance offered by the agency.
(E) The method by which each agency or its offices shall transmit, to the board of elections in the county in which the agency office is located, registration forms and report the number of declinations received by the agency for each reporting period;
(F) The address and phone number of each office through which the agency shall provide voter registration opportunities.
(A) Wherever possible, the employee who provides registration assistance should be the same as the person who gives assistance in the application process for the regular services that the agency provides. Each employee assigned to voter registration activities shall be trained and if requested, shall provide to each such consumer who registers to vote the same degree of assistance as with regard to the completion of its own forms.
(B) Each agency coordinator shall be responsible for training all employees and other persons assigned by the agency to work on voter registration activities, or shall arrange for its employees to receive such training, and shall provide such employees and other persons with instructional materials on voter registration to be supplied to each agency by the secretary of state. Each agency shall provide ongoing training for its employees involved in the agency's voter registration program.
(C) Employees and other persons working on voter assistance activities for an agency shall not:
(1) Directly or indirectly seek to influence a consumer's political preference or party enrollment.
(2) Make any statement to a consumer or take any action, the purpose or effect of which is, to discourage the consumer from registering to vote; or
(3) Make any statement to a consumer or take any action, the purpose of effect or which is, to lead the consumer to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.
(D) Upon receipt of a completed registration form the employee shall note, in indelible ink, the date such form was received by the agency. The date notation or stamp shall be of such nature or placed in a location that maintains as confidential, to any member of the public who may request and receive access to the registration form, the identity of the agency through which a person registered.
(A) The term "Transmittal Form" refers to a form prescribed by the secretary of state to enable each designated agency to forward to the office of the board of elections, in the county in which the agency is located, registration forms which maintain as confidential the identity of the agency through which a person received a registration form, and which enables each board of elections to comply with the requirements of division (F)(4) of section 3503.10 and division (U) of section 3501.11 of the Revised Code that mandates the collection and reporting of certain statistical information.
Each designated agency, through its agency coordinator, shall collect all registration forms and tally the number of forms collected. The total number of registration forms collected by each agency since the date of the last transmittal, shall be recorded on a transmittal form which shall be in a format prescribed by the secretary of state. In addition, each agency shall record on the transmittal form the name and address of the agency.
(B) Each agency coordinator or his or her designee shall forward the transmittal form and the registration forms to the board of elections in the county in which the agency is located. The process by which such forms shall be forwarded to the board of elections shall be jointly agreed to by the agency and the board of elections. If no such process can be agreed upon, the agency shall transmit the registration forms, along with the transmittal form, to the board of elections by regular mail, postage prepaid, no less often than once every five working days.
(C) Each board of elections shall, upon receipt of a transmittal form, note the total number of duplicate registrations received through such transmittal. This number shall be recorded on the transmittal form. Thereafter, each board of elections shall maintain the transmittal forms or the information contained thereon in a format and location so that the information contained thereon is readily available to the secretary of state and can be used by the board of elections to report to the secretary of state such statistical information as he shall request from time to time.
The secretary of state shall prescribe all registration, transmittal and other forms required to be used by each designated agency to enable each such agency and the boards of elections to comply with the requirement of sections 3501.11 and 3503.10 of the Revised Code and provide a program through which qualified residents of the state of Ohio may register at designated agencies and through which certain registration related statistical data is collected by the boards of elections and the secretary of state and reported to the federal elections commission.
(A) The registrar of motor vehicles shall designate the deputy administrator for the deputy registrar services section to be in charge of and responsible for voter registration within the bureau of motor vehicles. The deputy administrator may designate other employees within the section to assist in voter registration. The deputy administrator shall provide, in cooperation with the secretary of state, a training program and materials for training in voter registration for deputy registrars and their employees.
(B) The office manager appointed by each deputy registrar shall be in charge of and responsible for voter registration within that agency unless the deputy registrar notifies the registrar in writing that he has designated another individual to serve in that capacity.
(C) When any person applies for a driver's license, commercial driver's license, a state of Ohio identification card, or motorcycle operator's license or endorsement, or the renewal or duplicate of any license or endorsement under Chapter 4506. or 4507. of the Revised Code, the employee of the registrar or deputy registrar receiving the application shall offer the applicant the opportunity to register to vote or update his voter registration if the applicant is eligible and wishes to do so, and assistance in completing the voter registration form if so requested.
The applicant shall not be required to fill out any portion of the voter registration form that requests information that duplicates information on the application for a license, identification card or endorsement. Such information shall be printed on the form by the deputy registrar.
(D) The registrar or deputy registrar shall enter the date each registration application, change of name notice, or change of address form is received. The date may be entered by use of a date stamp or may be typed or printed upon the document. The date stamp or date entry shall not disclose the identity of the office which entered it.
(E) The registrar or deputy registrar shall send any completed registration application, change of residence notice, or change of name notice to the board of elections of the county in which the office of the registrar or deputy registrar is located, within five days after accepting the application or notice.
(F) Each deputy registrar shall record the number of applicants for licenses he has served, the number of voter registrations, change of address notices and change of name notices he has completed and transmitted to the board of elections, and the number of voter registration applications declined and shall file a report with the registrar listing all those numbers. The report shall be filed semi-annually or more frequently as prescribed by the registrar. Upon request of the registrar, each deputy registrar shall report any additional information required by the secretary of state to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, as amended.
(G) The registrar shall collect the reports from each deputy registrar and shall report and transmit to the secretary of state at least once annually information on the number of applicants for licenses and the numbers of voter registrations, change of residence notices, and change of name notices completed, and the number of voter registration applications declined, and any additional information required by the secretary of state to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, as amended.
(H) No information relating to an applicant's decision to decline to register or update his voter registration at the office of the registrar of deputy registrar may be used for any purpose other than voter registration record keeping required by the secretary of state, and all such information shall be kept confidential.
(I) The bureau of motor vehicles shall supply all of its deputy registrars with a sufficient number of voter registration applications, change of residence notices, and change of name notices as prescribed by the secretary of state.
(J) The decision of any applicant whether to register as an elector shall be given no consideration in the decision whether to issue him a license, a state identification card, an endorsement, a renewal, or a duplicate.
(K) In addition to other provisions set forth in this rule, each deputy registrar shall maintain a supply of voter registration applications, change of address notices, and change of name notices and shall provide them to any individual upon request. Each deputy shall display in a prominent place a notice that voter registration applications and change of address or name notices are available at the agency.
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/15/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3501.05(U)
Rule Amplifies: 3503.11, 4501.023, 4503.03, 4506.07, 4507.06, 4507.51
Prior Effective Dates: 12/22/94 (Emer.), 5/27/95