(A) The board of elections shall determine whether absent voter's ballots shall be counted in each precinct, at the office of the board, or at some other location designated by the board, and shall proceed accordingly under division (B) or (C) of this section.
(B) When the board of elections determines that absent voter's ballots shall be counted in each precinct, the director shall deliver to the presiding judge of each precinct on election day identification envelopes purporting to contain absent voter's ballots of electors whose voting residence appears from the statement of voter on the outside of each of those envelopes, to be located in such presiding judge's precinct, and which were received by the director not later than the close of the polls on election day. The director shall deliver to such presiding judge a list containing the name and voting residence of each person whose voting residence is in such precinct to whom absent voter's ballots were mailed.
(C) When the board of elections determines that absent voter's ballots shall be counted at the office of the board of elections or at another location designated by the board, special election judges shall be appointed by the board for that purpose having the same authority as is exercised by precinct judges. The votes so cast shall be added to the vote totals by the board, and the absent voter's ballots shall be preserved separately by the board, in the same manner and for the same length of time as provided by section 3505.31 of the Revised Code.
(D) Each of the identification envelopes purporting to contain absent voter's ballots delivered to the presiding judge of the precinct or the special judge appointed by the board of elections shall be handled as follows: The election officials shall compare the signature of the elector on the outside of the identification envelope with the signature of that elector on the elector's registration form and verify that the absent voter's ballot is eligible to be counted under section 3509.07 of the Revised Code. Any of the precinct officials may challenge the right of the elector named on the identification envelope to vote the absent voter's ballots upon the ground that the signature on the envelope is not the same as the signature on the registration form, or upon any other of the grounds upon which the right of persons to vote may be lawfully challenged. If no such challenge is made, or if such a challenge is made and not sustained, the presiding judge shall open the envelope without defacing the statement of voter and without mutilating the ballots in it, and shall remove the ballots contained in it and proceed to count them.
The name of each person voting who is entitled to vote only an absent voter's presidential ballot shall be entered in a pollbook or poll list or signature pollbook followed by the words "Absentee Presidential Ballot." The name of each person voting an absent voter's ballot, other than such persons entitled to vote only a presidential ballot, shall be entered in the pollbook or poll list or signature pollbook and the person's registration card marked to indicate that the person has voted.
The date of such election shall also be entered on the elector's registration form. If any such challenge is made and sustained, the identification envelope of such elector shall not be opened, shall be endorsed "Not Counted" with the reasons the ballots were not counted, and shall be delivered to the board.
(E) Special election judges , employees or members of the board of elections, or observers shall not disclose the count or any portion of the count of absent voter's ballots prior to the time of the closing of the polling places. No person shall recklessly disclose the count or any portion of the count of absent voter's ballots in such a manner as to jeopardize the secrecy of any individual ballot.
(F) Observers may be appointed under section 3505.21 of the Revised Code to witness the examination and opening of identification envelopes and the counting of absent voters' ballots under this section.
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: 07-04-1984; 01-27-2006; 05-02-2006