3501.17 Expenditures and costs.

(A) The expenses of the board of elections shall be paid from the county treasury, in pursuance of appropriations by the board of county commissioners, in the same manner as other county expenses are paid. If the board of county commissioners fails to appropriate an amount sufficient to provide for the necessary and proper expenses of the board of elections pertaining to the conduct of elections, the board of elections may apply to the court of common pleas within the county, which shall fix the amount necessary to be appropriated and the amount shall be appropriated. Payments shall be made upon vouchers of the board of elections certified to by its chairperson or acting chairperson and the director or deputy director, upon warrants of the county auditor.

The board of elections shall not incur any obligation involving the expenditure of money unless there are moneys sufficient in the funds appropriated therefor to meet the obligation. If the board of elections requests a transfer of funds from one of its appropriation items to another, the board of county commissioners shall adopt a resolution providing for the transfer except as otherwise provided in section 5705.40 of the Revised Code. The expenses of the board of elections shall be apportioned among the county and the various subdivisions as provided in this section, and the amount chargeable to each subdivision shall be paid as provided in division (J) of this section or withheld by the county auditor from the moneys payable thereto at the time of the next tax settlement. At the time of submitting budget estimates in each year, the board of elections shall submit to the taxing authority of each subdivision, upon the request of the subdivision, an estimate of the amount to be paid or withheld from the subdivision during the current or next fiscal year.

A board of township trustees may, by resolution, request that the county auditor withhold expenses charged to the township from a specified township fund that is to be credited with revenue at a tax settlement. The resolution shall specify the tax levy ballot issue, the date of the election on the levy issue, and the township fund from which the expenses the board of elections incurs related to that ballot issue shall be withheld.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in division (F) of this section, the compensation of the members of the board of elections and of the director, deputy director, and regular employees in the board's offices, other than compensation for overtime worked; the expenditures for the rental, furnishing, and equipping of the office of the board and for the necessary office supplies for the use of the board; the expenditures for the acquisition, repair, care, and custody of the polling places, booths, guardrails, and other equipment for polling places; the cost of tally sheets, maps, flags, ballot boxes, and all other permanent records and equipment; the cost of all elections held in and for the state and county; and all other expenses of the board which are not chargeable to a political subdivision in accordance with this section shall be paid in the same manner as other county expenses are paid.

(C) The compensation of precinct election officials and intermittent employees in the board's offices; the cost of renting, moving, heating, and lighting polling places and of placing and removing ballot boxes and other fixtures and equipment thereof, including voting machines, marking devices, and automatic tabulating equipment; the cost of printing and delivering ballots, cards of instructions, registration lists required under section 3503.23 of the Revised Code, and other election supplies, including the supplies required to comply with division (H) of section 3506.01 of the Revised Code; the cost of contractors engaged by the board to prepare, program, test, and operate voting machines, marking devices, and automatic tabulating equipment; and all other expenses of conducting primaries and elections in the odd-numbered years shall be charged to the subdivisions in and for which such primaries or elections are held. The charge for each primary or general election in odd-numbered years for each subdivision shall be determined in the following manner: first, the total cost of all chargeable items used in conducting such elections shall be ascertained; second, the total charge shall be divided by the number of precincts participating in such election, in order to fix the cost per precinct; third, the cost per precinct shall be prorated by the board of elections to the subdivisions conducting elections for the nomination or election of offices in such precinct; fourth, the total cost for each subdivision shall be determined by adding the charges prorated to it in each precinct within the subdivision.

(D) The entire cost of special elections held on a day other than the day of a primary or general election, both in odd-numbered or in even-numbered years, shall be charged to the subdivision. Where a special election is held on the same day as a primary or general election in an even-numbered year, the subdivision submitting the special election shall be charged only for the cost of ballots and advertising. Where a special election is held on the same day as a primary or general election in an odd-numbered year, the subdivision submitting the special election shall be charged for the cost of ballots and advertising for such special election, in addition to the charges prorated to such subdivision for the election or nomination of candidates in each precinct within the subdivision, as set forth in the preceding paragraph.

(E) Where a special election is held on the day specified by division (E) of section 3501.01 of the Revised Code for the holding of a primary election, for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the state constitutional amendments proposed by the general assembly, and a subdivision conducts a special election on the same day, the entire cost of the special election shall be divided proportionally between the state and the subdivision based upon a ratio determined by the number of issues placed on the ballot by each, except as otherwise provided in division (G) of this section. Such proportional division of cost shall be made only to the extent funds are available for such purpose from amounts appropriated by the general assembly to the secretary of state. If a primary election is also being conducted in the subdivision, the costs shall be apportioned as otherwise provided in this section.

(F) When a precinct is open during a general, primary, or special election solely for the purpose of submitting to the voters a statewide ballot issue, the state shall bear the entire cost of the election in that precinct and shall reimburse the county for all expenses incurred in opening the precinct.

(G)

(1) The state shall bear the entire cost of advertising in newspapers statewide ballot issues, explanations of those issues, and arguments for or against those issues, as required by Section 1g of Article II and Section 1 of Article XVI, Ohio Constitution, and any other section of law. Appropriations made to the controlling board shall be used to reimburse the secretary of state for all expenses the secretary of state incurs for such advertising under division (G) of section 3505.062 of the Revised Code.

(2) There is hereby created in the state treasury the statewide ballot advertising fund. The fund shall receive transfers approved by the controlling board, and shall be used by the secretary of state to pay the costs of advertising state ballot issues as required under division (G)(1) of this section. Any such transfers may be requested from and approved by the controlling board prior to placing the advertising, in order to facilitate timely provision of the required advertising.

(H) The cost of renting, heating, and lighting registration places; the cost of the necessary books, forms, and supplies for the conduct of registration; and the cost of printing and posting precinct registration lists shall be charged to the subdivision in which such registration is held.

(I)

(1)

(a) At the request of a majority of the members of the board of elections, the board of county commissioners may, by resolution, establish an elections revenue fund. Except as otherwise provided in this division and in division (I)(2) of this section, the purpose of the fund shall be to accumulate revenue withheld by or paid to the county under this section for the payment of any expense related to the duties of the board of elections specified in section 3501.11 of the Revised Code, upon approval of a majority of the members of the board of elections. The fund shall not accumulate any revenue withheld by or paid to the county under this section for the compensation of the members of the board of elections or of the director, deputy director, or other regular employees in the board's offices, other than compensation for overtime worked.

(b) Notwithstanding sections 5705.14, 5705.15, and 5705.16 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners may, by resolution, transfer money to the elections revenue fund from any other fund of the political subdivision from which such payments lawfully may be made. Following an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the board of elections, the board of county commissioners may, by resolution, rescind an elections revenue fund established under this division. If an elections revenue fund is rescinded, money that has accumulated in the fund shall be transferred to the county general fund.

(2)

(a) The board of county commissioners of a county that receives a payment from a political subdivision under division (J) of this section shall, by resolution, establish a special elections fund. The purpose of the fund shall be to accumulate revenue paid to the county by political subdivisions under division (J) of this section for the cost of preparing for and conducting special elections.

(b) If both of the following apply, the board of county commissioners may, by resolution, rescind the special elections fund and transfer any remaining money in the fund to the county general fund or to the elections revenue fund:

(i) All notifications and payments required under division (J)(3) of this section have been made.

(ii) The county has not received any payments from political subdivisions under division (J)(2) of this section for a future special election.

(J)

(1) Not less than fifteen business days before the deadline for submitting a question or issue for placement on the ballot at a special election, the board of elections shall prepare and file with the board of county commissioners and the office of the secretary of state the estimated cost, based on the factors enumerated in this section, for preparing for and conducting an election on one question or issue, one nomination for office, or one election to office in each precinct in the county at that special election and shall divide that cost by the number of registered voters in the county.

(2) The board of elections shall provide to a political subdivision seeking to submit a question or issue, a nomination for office, or an election to office for placement on the ballot at a special election with the estimated cost for preparing for and conducting that election, which shall be calculated either by multiplying the number of registered voters in the political subdivision with the cost calculated under division (J)(1) of this section or by multiplying the cost per precinct with the number or precincts in the political subdivision. A political subdivision submitting a question or issue, a nomination for office, or an election to office for placement on the ballot at that special election shall pay to the county special elections fund sixty-five per cent of the estimated cost of the election not less than ten business days after the deadline for submitting a question or issue for placement on the ballot for that special election.

(3) Not later than sixty days after the date of a special election, the board of elections shall provide to each political subdivision the true and accurate cost for the question or issue, nomination for office, or election to office that the subdivision submitted to the voters on the special election ballots. If the board of elections determines that a subdivision paid less for the cost of preparing and conducting a special election under division (J)(2) of this section than the actual cost calculated under this division, the subdivision shall remit to the county special elections fund the difference between the payment made under division (J)(2) of this section and the final cost calculated under this division within thirty days after being notified of the final cost. If the board of elections determines that a subdivision paid more for the cost of preparing and conducting a special election under division (J)(2) of this section than the actual cost calculated under this division, the board of elections promptly shall notify the board of county commissioners of that difference. The board of county commissioners shall remit from the county special elections fund to the political subdivision the difference between the payment made under division (J)(2) of this section and the final cost calculated under this division within thirty days after receiving that notification.

(K) As used in this section:

(1) "Political subdivision" and "subdivision" mean any board of county commissioners, board of township trustees, legislative authority of a municipal corporation, board of education, or any other board, commission, district, or authority that is empowered to levy taxes or permitted to receive the proceeds of a tax levy, regardless of whether the entity receives tax settlement moneys as described in division (A) of this section;

(2) "Statewide ballot issue" means any ballot issue, whether proposed by the general assembly or by initiative or referendum, that is submitted to the voters throughout the state.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 166, §1, eff. 9/8/2016.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 64, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2015.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 47, SB 109, §1, eff. 2/25/2014.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.105, SB 295, §1, eff. 8/15/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.40, HB 194, §1 Made subject to referendum in the Nov. 6, 2012 election. The version of this section thus amended was repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.105, SB 295, §1, eff. 8/15/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-30-1997; 09-29-2005; 01-27-2006; 05-02-2006; 2007 HB119 09-29-2007; 2008 HB562 06-24-2008