3511.021 Procedures for applying for uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballots.

(A)

(1) The secretary of state shall establish procedures that allow any person who is eligible to vote as a uniformed services voter or an overseas voter in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-6 to apply by electronic means to the office of the secretary of state or to the board of elections of the county in which the person's voting residence is located for a uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot.

(2) The procedures shall allow such a person who requests a uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot application to express a preference for the manner in which the person will receive the requested application, whether by mail , facsimile transmission, electronic mail, or, if offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, through internet delivery. If the person completes and timely returns the application and the applicant is eligible to receive a ballot, the procedures shall allow the applicant to express a preference for the manner in which the person will receive the requested blank, unvoted ballots, whether by mail , facsimile transmission, electronic mail, or, if offered by the board of elections or the secretary of state, through internet delivery. The requested items shall be transmitted by the board of elections of the county in which the person's voting residence is located by the preferred method. If the requestor does not express a preferred method, the requested items shall be delivered via standard mail.

(3) To the extent practicable, the procedures shall protect the security and integrity of the ballot request and delivery process, and protect the privacy of the identity and personal data of the person when such applications and ballots are requested, processed, and sent.

(4) No person shall return by electronic means to the secretary of state, a board of elections, or any other entity a completed or voted uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot. If a ballot is so returned, the ballot shall not be accepted, processed, or counted.

(B)

(1) The secretary of state, in coordination with the boards of elections, shall establish a free access system by which an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter may determine the following:

(a) Whether that person's request for a uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot was received and processed;

(b) If the person's request was received and processed, when the uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot was sent;

(c) Whether any uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot returned by that person has been received by election officials;

(d) Whether the board of elections found any error on the identification envelope containing the person's returned uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot and, if so, how the person may correct any error within ten days after the day of an election; and

(e) Whether the person's uniformed services or overseas absent voter's ballot was counted.

(2) The appropriate state or local election official shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures necessary to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information that is confidential under state or federal law that is collected, stored, or otherwise used by the free access system established under division (B) of this section. Access to information about the votes cast on an individual ballot shall be restricted to the person who cast the ballot. To the extent practicable, the procedures shall protect the security and integrity of the process and protect the privacy of the identity and personal data of the person.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.46, HB 224, §1, eff. 10/27/2011.

Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.