3505.31 Sealing ballots, pollbooks, poll lists or signature pollbooks, tally sheets.

When the results of the voting in a polling place on the day of an election have been determined and entered upon the proper forms and the certifications of those results have been signed by the precinct officials, those officials, before leaving the polling place, shall place all ballots that they have counted in containers provided for that purpose by the board of elections, and shall seal each container in a manner that it cannot be opened without breaking the seal or the material of which the container is made. They shall also seal the pollbook, poll list or signature pollbook, and tally sheet in a manner that the data contained in these items cannot be seen without breaking the seals. On the outside of these items shall be a plain indication that they are to be filed with the board. The voting location manager and an employee or appointee of the board of elections who has taken an oath to uphold the laws and constitution of this state, including an oath that the person will promptly and securely perform the duties required under this section and who is a member of a different political party than the voting location manager, shall then deliver to the board the containers of ballots and the sealed pollbook, poll list, and tally sheet, together with all other election reports, materials, and supplies required to be delivered to the board.

The board shall carefully preserve all ballots prepared and provided by it for use in an election, whether used or unused, for sixty days after the day of the election, except that, if an election includes the nomination or election of candidates for any of the offices of president, vice-president, presidential elector, member of the senate of the congress of the United States, or member of the house of representatives of the congress of the United States, the board shall carefully preserve all ballots prepared and provided by it for use in that election, whether used or unused, for twenty-two months after the day of the election. If an election is held within that sixty-day period, the board shall have authority to transfer those ballots to other containers to preserve them until the sixty-day period has expired. After that sixty-day period, the ballots shall be disposed of by the board in a manner that the board orders, or where voting machines have been used the counters may be turned back to zero; provided that the secretary of state, within that sixty-day period, may order the board to preserve the ballots or any part of the ballots for a longer period of time, in which event the board shall preserve those ballots for that longer period of time.

In counties where voting machines are used, if an election is to be held within the sixty days immediately following a primary, general, or special election or within any period of time within which the ballots have been ordered preserved by the secretary of state or a court of competent jurisdiction, the board, after giving notice to all interested parties and affording them an opportunity to have a representative present, shall open the compartments of the machines and, without unlocking the machines, shall recanvass the vote cast in them as if a recount were being held. The results shall be certified by the board, and this certification shall be filed in the board's office and retained for the remainder of the period for which ballots must be kept. After preparation of the certificate, the counters may be turned back to zero, and the machines may be used for the election.

The board shall carefully preserve the pollbook, poll list or signature pollbook, and tally sheet delivered to it from each polling place until it has completed the official canvass of the election returns from all precincts in which electors were entitled to vote at an election, and has prepared and certified the abstracts of election returns, as required by law. The board shall not break, or permit anyone to break, the seals upon the pollbook, poll list or signature pollbook, and tally sheet, or make, or permit any one to make, any changes or notations in these items, while they are in its custody, except as provided by section 3505.32 of the Revised Code.

Pollbooks and poll lists or signature pollbooks of a party primary election delivered to the board from polling places shall be carefully preserved by it for two years after the day of election in which they were used, and shall then be disposed of by the board in a manner that the board orders.

Pollbooks, poll lists or signature pollbooks, tally sheets, summary statements, and other records and returns of an election delivered to it from polling places shall be carefully preserved by the board for two years after the day of the election in which they were used, and shall then be disposed of by the board in a manner that the board orders.

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.

Effective Date: 08-28-2001; 2008 HB350 09-12-2008