(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (D) of this section, not earlier than the eleventh day or later than the fifteenth day after a general or special election, the board of elections shall begin to canvass the election returns from the precincts in which electors were entitled to vote at that election. It shall continue the canvass daily until it is completed and the results of the voting in that election in each of the precincts are determined.
The board shall complete the canvass not later than the twenty-first day after the day of the election. Eighty-one days after the day of the election, the canvass of election returns shall be deemed final, and no amendments to the canvass may be made after that date. The secretary of state may specify an earlier date upon which the canvass of election returns shall be deemed final, and after which amendments to the final canvass may not be made, if so required by federal law.
(B) The county executive committee of each political party, each committee designated in a petition nominating an independent or nonpartisan candidate for election at an election, each committee designated in a petition to represent the petitioners pursuant to which a question or issue was submitted at an election, and any committee opposing a question or issue submitted at an election that was permitted by section 3505.21 of the Revised Code to have a qualified elector serve as an observer during the counting of the ballots at each polling place at an election may designate a qualified elector who may be present and may observe the making of the official canvass.
(C) The board shall first open all envelopes containing uncounted ballots and shall count and tally them.
In connection with its investigation of any apparent or suspected error or defect in the election returns from a polling place, the board may cause subpoenas to be issued and served requiring the attendance before it of the election officials of that polling place, and it may examine them under oath regarding the manner in which the votes were cast and counted in that polling place, or the manner in which the returns were prepared and certified, or as to any other matters bearing upon the voting and the counting of the votes in that polling place at that election.
Finally, the board shall open the sealed container containing the ballots that were counted in the polling place at the election and count those ballots, during the official canvass, in the presence of all of the members of the board and any other persons who are entitled to witness the official canvass.
(D) Prior to the tenth day after a primary, general, or special election, the board may examine the pollbooks, poll lists, and tally sheets received from each polling place for its files and may compare the results of the voting in any polling place with the summary statement received from the polling place. If the board finds that any of these records or any portion of them is missing, or that they are incomplete, not properly certified, or ambiguous, or that the results of the voting in the polling place as shown on the summary statement from the polling place are different from the results of the voting in the polling place as shown by the pollbook, poll list, or tally sheet from the polling place, or that there is any other defect in the records, the board may make whatever changes to the pollbook, poll list, or tally sheet it determines to be proper in order to correct the errors or defects.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.
Effective Date: 08-28-2001; 05-02-200.