Electors of a county, equal in number to ten per cent of the number who voted for governor in the county at the most recent gubernatorial election, may file, not later than one hundred ten days before the date of a general election, a petition with the board of county commissioners asking that the question of the adoption of a county charter in the form attached to the petition be submitted to the electors of the county. The petition shall be available for public inspection at the offices of the county commissioners during regular business hours until four p.m. of the one hundred eleventh day before the election, at which time the board shall, by resolution, certify the petition to the board of elections of the county for submission to the electors of the county, unless the signatures are insufficient or the petitions otherwise invalid, at the next general election.
Such electors may, in the alternative not later than the one hundred thirtieth day before the date of a general election, file such a petition with the board of elections of the county. In such case the board of elections shall immediately proceed to determine whether the petition and the signatures on the petition meet the requirements of law and to count the number of valid signatures and to note opposite each invalid signature the reason for the invalidity. The board of elections shall complete its examination of the petition and the signatures and shall submit a report to the board of county commissioners not later than the one hundred twentieth day before the date of the general election certifying whether the petition is valid or invalid and, if invalid, the reasons for invalidity, whether there are sufficient valid signatures, and the number of valid and invalid signatures. The petition and a copy of the report to the board of county commissioners shall be available for public inspection at the board of elections. If the petition is certified by the board of elections to be valid and to have sufficient valid signatures, the board of county commissioners shall forthwith and not later than four p.m. on the one hundred eleventh day before the general election, by resolution, certify the petition to the board of elections for submission to the electors of the county at the next general election. If the petition is certified by the board of elections to be invalid or to have insufficient valid signatures, or both, the petitioners' committee may protest such findings or solicit additional signatures as provided in section 307.95 of the Revised Code, or both, or request that the board of elections proceed to establish the validity or invalidity of the petition and the sufficiency or insufficiency of the signatures in an action before the court of common pleas in the county. Such action must be brought within three days after the request has been made, and the case shall be heard forthwith by a judge or such court whose decision shall be certified to the board of elections and to the board of county commissioners in sufficient time to permit the board of county commissioners to perform its duty to certify the petition, if it is determined by the court to be valid and contain sufficient valid signatures, to the board of elections not later than four p.m. on the one hundred eleventh day prior to the general election for submission to the electors at such general election.
A county charter to be submitted to the voters by petition shall be considered to be attached to the petition if it is printed as a part of the petition. A county charter petition may consist of any number of separate petition papers. Each part shall have attached a copy of the charter to be submitted to the electors, and each part shall otherwise meet all the requirements of law for a county charter petition. Section 3501.38 of the Revised Code applies to county charter petitions.
The petitioners shall designate in the petition the names and addresses of a committee of not fewer than three nor more than five persons who will represent them in all matters relating to the petition. Notice of all matters or proceedings pertaining to such petitions may be served on the committee, or any of them, either personally or by certified mail, or by leaving it at the usual place of residence of each of them.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.
Effective Date: 08-22-1995