3503.15 Statewide voter registration database.

(A)

(1) The secretary of state shall establish and maintain a statewide voter registration database that shall be administered by the office of the secretary of state and made continuously available to each board of elections and to other agencies as authorized by law.

(2)

(a) State agencies, including, but not limited to, the department of health, the bureau of motor vehicles, the department of job and family services, the department of medicaid, and the department of rehabilitation and corrections, shall provide any information and data to the secretary of state that is collected in the course of normal business and that is necessary to register to vote, to update an elector's registration, or to maintain the statewide voter registration database established pursuant to this section, except where prohibited by federal law or regulation. The department of health, the bureau of motor vehicles, the department of job and family services, the department of medicaid, and the department of rehabilitation and corrections shall provide that information and data to the secretary of state not later than the last day of each month. The secretary of state shall ensure that any information or data provided to the secretary of state that is confidential in the possession of the entity providing the data remains confidential while in the possession of the secretary of state. No public office, and no public official or employee, shall sell that information or data or use that information or data for profit.

(b) Information provided under this division for maintenance of the statewide voter registration database shall not be used to update the name or address of a registered elector. The name or address of a registered elector shall only be updated as a result of the elector's actions in filing a notice of change of name, change of address, or both.

(c) A board of elections shall contact a registered elector pursuant to the rules adopted under division (D)(7) of this section to verify the accuracy of the information in the statewide voter registration database regarding that elector if that information does not conform with information provided under division (A)(2)(a) of this section and the discrepancy would affect the elector's eligibility to cast a regular ballot.

(3)

(a) The secretary of state shall enter into agreements to share information or data that is in the possession of the secretary of state with other states or groups of states, as the secretary of state considers necessary, in order to maintain the statewide voter registration database established pursuant to this section. Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(3)(b) of this section, the secretary of state shall ensure that any information or data provided to the secretary of state that is confidential in the possession of the state providing the data remains confidential while in the possession of the secretary of state.

(b) The secretary of state may provide such otherwise confidential information or data to persons or organizations that are engaging in legitimate governmental purposes related to the maintenance of the statewide voter registration database. The secretary of state shall adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code identifying the persons or organizations who may receive that information or data. The secretary of state shall not share that information or data with a person or organization not identified in those rules. The secretary of state shall ensure that a person or organization that receives confidential information or data under this division keeps the information or data confidential in the person's or organization's possession by, at a minimum, entering into a confidentiality agreement with the person or organization. Any confidentiality agreement entered into under this division shall include a requirement that the person or organization submit to the jurisdiction of this state in the event that the person or organization breaches the agreement.

(4) No person or entity that receives information or data under division (A)(3) of this section shall sell the information or data or use the information or data for profit.

(5) The secretary of state shall regularly transmit to the boards of elections, to the extent permitted by state and federal law, the information and data the secretary of state receives under divisions (A)(2) and (3) of this section that is necessary to do the following, in order to ensure that the accuracy of the statewide voter registration database is maintained on a regular basis in accordance with applicable state and federal law:

(a) Require the boards of elections to maintain the database in a manner that ensures that the name of each registered elector appears in the database, that only individuals who are not registered or eligible to vote are removed from the database, and that duplicate registrations are eliminated from the database;

(b) Require the boards of elections to make a reasonable effort to remove individuals who are not eligible to vote from the database;

(c) Establish safeguards to ensure that eligible electors are not removed in error from the database.

(B) The statewide voter registration database established under this section shall be the official list of registered voters for all elections conducted in this state.

(C) The statewide voter registration database established under this section shall, at a minimum, include all of the following:

(1) An electronic network that connects all board of elections offices with the office of the secretary of state and with the offices of all other boards of elections;

(2) A computer program that harmonizes the records contained in the database with records maintained by each board of elections;

(3) An interactive computer program that allows access to the records contained in the database by each board of elections and by any persons authorized by the secretary of state to add, delete, modify, or print database records, and to conduct updates of the database;

(4) A search program capable of verifying registered voters and their registration information by name, driver's license number, birth date, social security number, or current address;

(5) Safeguards and components to ensure that the integrity, security, and confidentiality of the voter registration information is maintained;

(6) Methods to retain canceled voter registration records for not less than five years after they are canceled and to record the reason for their cancellation.

(D) The secretary of state shall adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code doing all of the following:

(1) Specifying the manner in which existing voter registration records maintained by boards of elections shall be converted to electronic files for inclusion in the statewide voter registration database;

(2) Establishing a uniform method for entering voter registration records into the statewide voter registration database on an expedited basis, but not less than once per day, if new registration information is received;

(3) Establishing a uniform method for purging canceled voter registration records from the statewide voter registration database in accordance with section 3503.21 of the Revised Code;

(4) Specifying the persons authorized to add, delete, modify, or print records contained in the statewide voter registration database and to make updates of that database;

(5) Establishing a process for annually auditing the information contained in the statewide voter registration database;

(6) Establishing, by mutual agreement with the bureau of motor vehicles, the content and format of the information and data the bureau of motor vehicles shall provide to the secretary of state under division (A)(2)(a) of this section and the frequency with which the bureau shall provide that information and data;

(7) Establishing a uniform method for addressing instances in which records contained in the statewide voter registration database do not conform with records maintained by an agency, state, or group of states described in division (A)(2)(a) or (3)(a) of this section. That method shall prohibit an elector's voter registration from being canceled on the sole basis that the information in the registration record does not conform to records maintained by such an agency.

(E) A board of elections promptly shall purge a voter's name and voter registration information from the statewide voter registration database in accordance with the rules adopted by the secretary of state under division (D)(3) of this section after the cancellation of a voter's registration under section 3503.21 of the Revised Code.

(F) The secretary of state shall provide training in the operation of the statewide voter registration database to each board of elections and to any persons authorized by the secretary of state to add, delete, modify, or print database records, and to conduct updates of the database.

(G)

(1) The statewide voter registration database established under this section shall be made available on a web site of the office of the secretary of state as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in division (G)(1)(b) of this section, the following information from the statewide voter registration database regarding a registered voter shall be made available on the web site:

(i) The voter's name;

(ii) The voter's address;

(iii) The voter's precinct number;

(iv) The voter's voting history.

(b) During the thirty days before the day of a primary or general election, the web site interface of the statewide voter registration database shall permit a voter to search for the polling location at which that voter may cast a ballot.

(2) The secretary of state shall establish, by rule adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, a process for boards of elections to notify the secretary of state of changes in the locations of precinct polling places for the purpose of updating the information made available on the secretary of state's web site under division (G)(1)(b) of this section. Those rules shall require a board of elections, during the thirty days before the day of a primary or general election, to notify the secretary of state within one business day of any change to the location of a precinct polling place within the county.

(3) During the thirty days before the day of a primary or general election, not later than one business day after receiving a notification from a county pursuant to division (G)(2) of this section that the location of a precinct polling place has changed, the secretary of state shall update that information on the secretary of state's web site for the purpose of division (G)(1)(b) of this section.

(H) The secretary of state shall conduct an annual review of the statewide voter registration database as follows:

(1) The secretary of state shall compare the information in the statewide voter registration database with the information the secretary of state obtains from the bureau of motor vehicles under division (A)(2) of this section to identify any person who does all of the following, in the following order:

(a) Submits documentation to the bureau of motor vehicles that indicates that the person is not a United States citizen;

(b) Registers to vote, submits a voter registration change of residence or change of name form, or votes in this state;

(c) Submits documentation to the bureau of motor vehicles that indicates that the person is not a United States citizen.

(2) The secretary of state shall send a written notice to each person identified under division (H)(1) of this section, instructing the person either to confirm that the person is a United States citizen or to submit a completed voter registration cancellation form to the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall include a blank voter registration cancellation form with the notice. If the person fails to respond to the secretary of state in the manner described in division (H)(3) or (4) of this section not later than thirty days after the notice was sent, the secretary of state promptly shall send the person a second notice and form.

(3) If, not later than sixty days after the first notice was sent, a person who is sent a notice under division (H)(2) of this section responds to the secretary of state, confirming that the person is a United States citizen, the secretary of state shall take no action concerning the person's voter registration.

(4) If, not later than sixty days after the first notice was sent, a person who receives a notice under division (H)(2) of this section sends a completed voter registration cancellation form to the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall instruct the board of elections of the county in which the person is registered to cancel the person's registration.

(5) If a person who was sent a second notice under division (H)(2) of this section fails to respond to the secretary of state in the manner described in division (H)(3) or (4) of this section not later than thirty days after the second notice was sent, the secretary of state shall refer the matter to the attorney general for further investigation and possible prosecution under section 3599.11, 3 599.12, 3599.13, or any other applicable section of the Revised Code. If, after the thirtieth day after the second notice was sent, the person sends a completed voter registration cancellation form to the s ecretary of state, the secretary of state shall instruct the board of elections of the county in which the person is registered to cancel the person's registration and shall notify the attorney general of the cancellation.

(6) The secretary of state shall not conduct the review described in division (H) of this section during the ninety days immediately preceding a primary or general election for federal office.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 63, §1, eff. 9/13/2016.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 58, SB 200, §1, eff. 3/20/2014.

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.

Effective Date: 05-02-2006