(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 voting location manager 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.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board shall ensure all of the following:
(a) That polling places are free of barriers that would impede ingress and egress of handicapped persons;
(b) That the minimum number of special parking locations, also known as handicapped parking spaces or disability parking spaces, for handicapped persons are designated at each polling place in accordance with 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A, and in compliance with division (E) of section 4511.69 of the Revised Code ;
(c) That the entrances of polling places are level or are provided with a nonskid ramp that meets the requirements of the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990," 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C. 12101;
(d) That doors are a minimum of thirty-two inches wide.
(2) Notwithstanding division (B)(1)(a), (c), or (d) of this section, certain polling places may be 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 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) Before the day of an election, the director of the board of elections of each county shall sign a statement verifying that each polling place that will be used in that county at that election meets the requirements of division (B)(1)(b) of this section. The signed statement shall be sent to the secretary of state by certified mail or electronically.
(F) 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.
Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 47, SB 109, §1, eff. 2/25/2014.
Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 4, SB 10, §1, eff. 6/26/2013.
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.
Effective Date: 08-22-1995; 08-22-200.