3513.05 Deadline for filing declaration of candidacy.

Each person desiring to become a candidate for a party nomination at a primary election or for election to an office or position to be voted for at a primary election, except persons desiring to become joint candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor and except as otherwise provided in section 3513.051 of the Revised Code, shall, not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the primary election, file a declaration of candidacy and petition and pay the fees required under divisions (A) and (B) of section 3513.10 of the Revised Code. The declaration of candidacy and all separate petition papers shall be filed at the same time as one instrument. When the offices are to be voted for at a primary election, persons desiring to become joint candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall, not later than four p.m. of the ninetieth day before the day of the primary election, comply with section 3513.04 of the Revised Code. The prospective joint candidates' declaration of candidacy and all separate petition papers of candidacies shall be filed at the same time as one instrument. The secretary of state or a board of elections shall not accept for filing a declaration of candidacy and petition of a person seeking to become a candidate if that person, for the same election, has already filed a declaration of candidacy or a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate, or has become a candidate by the filling of a vacancy under section 3513.30 of the Revised Code for any federal, state, or county office, if the declaration of candidacy is for a state or county office, or for any municipal or township office, if the declaration of candidacy is for a municipal or township office.

If the declaration of candidacy declares a candidacy which is to be submitted to electors throughout the entire state, the petition, including a petition for joint candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, shall be signed by at least one thousand qualified electors who are members of the same political party as the candidate or joint candidates, and the declaration of candidacy and petition shall be filed with the secretary of state; provided that the secretary of state shall not accept or file any such petition appearing on its face to contain signatures of more than three thousand electors.

Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, if the declaration of candidacy is of one that is to be submitted only to electors within a district, political subdivision, or portion thereof, the petition shall be signed by not less than fifty qualified electors who are members of the same political party as the political party of which the candidate is a member. If the declaration of candidacy is for party nomination as a candidate for member of the legislative authority of a municipal corporation elected by ward, the petition shall be signed by not less than twenty-five qualified electors who are members of the political party of which the candidate is a member.

No such petition, except the petition for a candidacy that is to be submitted to electors throughout the entire state, shall be accepted for filing if it appears to contain on its face signatures of more than three times the minimum number of signatures. When a petition of a candidate has been accepted for filing by a board of elections, the petition shall not be deemed invalid if, upon verification of signatures contained in the petition, the board of elections finds the number of signatures accepted exceeds three times the minimum number of signatures required. A board of elections may discontinue verifying signatures on petitions when the number of verified signatures equals the minimum required number of qualified signatures.

If the declaration of candidacy declares a candidacy for party nomination or for election as a candidate of a minor party, the minimum number of signatures on such petition is one-half the minimum number provided in this section, except that, when the candidacy is one for election as a member of the state central committee or the county central committee of a political party, the minimum number shall be the same for a minor party as for a major party.

If a declaration of candidacy is one for election as a member of the state central committee or the county central committee of a political party, the petition shall be signed by five qualified electors of the district, county, ward, township, or precinct within which electors may vote for such candidate. The electors signing such petition shall be members of the same political party as the political party of which the candidate is a member.

For purposes of signing or circulating a petition of candidacy for party nomination or election, an elector is considered to be a member of a political party if the elector voted in that party's primary election within the preceding two calendar years, or if the elector did not vote in any other party's primary election within the preceding two calendar years.

If the declaration of candidacy is of one that is to be submitted only to electors within a county, or within a district or subdivision or part thereof smaller than a county, the petition shall be filed with the board of elections of the county. If the declaration of candidacy is of one that is to be submitted only to electors of a district or subdivision or part thereof that is situated in more than one county, the petition shall be filed with the board of elections of the county within which the major portion of the population thereof, as ascertained by the next preceding federal census, is located.

A petition shall consist of separate petition papers, each of which shall contain signatures of electors of only one county. Petitions or separate petition papers containing signatures of electors of more than one county shall not thereby be declared invalid. In case petitions or separate petition papers containing signatures of electors of more than one county are filed, the board shall determine the county from which the majority of signatures came, and only signatures from such county shall be counted. Signatures from any other county shall be invalid.

Each separate petition paper shall be circulated by one person only, who shall be the candidate or a joint candidate or a member of the same political party as the candidate or joint candidates, and each separate petition paper shall be governed by the rules set forth in section 3501.38 of the Revised Code.

The secretary of state shall promptly transmit to each board such separate petition papers of each petition accompanying a declaration of candidacy filed with the secretary of state as purport to contain signatures of electors of the county of such board. The board of the most populous county of a district shall promptly transmit to each board within such district such separate petition papers of each petition accompanying a declaration of candidacy filed with it as purport to contain signatures of electors of the county of each such board. The board of a county within which the major portion of the population of a subdivision, situated in more than one county, is located, shall promptly transmit to the board of each other county within which a portion of such subdivision is located such separate petition papers of each petition accompanying a declaration of candidacy filed with it as purport to contain signatures of electors of the portion of such subdivision in the county of each such board.

All petition papers so transmitted to a board and all petitions accompanying declarations of candidacy filed with a board shall, under proper regulations, be open to public inspection until four p.m. of the eightieth day before the day of the next primary election. Each board shall, not later than the seventy-eighth day before the day of that primary election, examine and determine the validity or invalidity of the signatures on the petition papers so transmitted to or filed with it and shall return to the secretary of state all petition papers transmitted to it by the secretary of state, together with its certification of its determination as to the validity or invalidity of signatures thereon, and shall return to each other board all petition papers transmitted to it by such board, together with its certification of its determination as to the validity or invalidity of the signatures thereon. All other matters affecting the validity or invalidity of such petition papers shall be determined by the secretary of state or the board with whom such petition papers were filed.

Protests against the candidacy of any person filing a declaration of candidacy for party nomination or for election to an office or position, as provided in this section, may be filed by any qualified elector who is a member of the same political party as the candidate and who is eligible to vote at the primary election for the candidate whose declaration of candidacy the elector objects to, or by the controlling committee of that political party. The protest shall be in writing, and shall be filed not later than four p.m. of the seventy-fourth day before the day of the primary election. The protest shall be filed with the election officials with whom the declaration of candidacy and petition was filed. Upon the filing of the protest, the election officials with whom it is filed shall promptly fix the time for hearing it, and shall forthwith mail notice of the filing of the protest and the time fixed for hearing to the person whose candidacy is so protested. They shall also forthwith mail notice of the time fixed for such hearing to the person who filed the protest. At the time fixed, such election officials shall hear the protest and determine the validity or invalidity of the declaration of candidacy and petition. If they find that such candidate is not an elector of the state, district, county, or political subdivision in which the candidate seeks a party nomination or election to an office or position, or has not fully complied with this chapter, the candidate's declaration of candidacy and petition shall be determined to be invalid and shall be rejected; otherwise, it shall be determined to be valid. That determination shall be final.

A protest against the candidacy of any persons filing a declaration of candidacy for joint party nomination to the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall be filed, heard, and determined in the same manner as a protest against the candidacy of any person filing a declaration of candidacy singly.

The secretary of state shall, on the seventieth day before the day of a primary election, certify to each board in the state the forms of the official ballots to be used at the primary election, together with the names of the candidates to be printed on the ballots whose nomination or election is to be determined by electors throughout the entire state and who filed valid declarations of candidacy and petitions.

The board of the most populous county in a district comprised of more than one county but less than all of the counties of the state shall, on the seventieth day before the day of a primary election, certify to the board of each county in the district the names of the candidates to be printed on the official ballots to be used at the primary election, whose nomination or election is to be determined only by electors within the district and who filed valid declarations of candidacy and petitions.

The board of a county within which the major portion of the population of a subdivision smaller than the county and situated in more than one county is located shall, on the seventieth day before the day of a primary election, certify to the board of each county in which a portion of that subdivision is located the names of the candidates to be printed on the official ballots to be used at the primary election, whose nomination or election is to be determined only by electors within that subdivision and who filed valid declarations of candidacy and petitions.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 43, SB 193, §1, eff. 2/5/2014.

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.

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

Effective Date: 2002 HB445 12-23-2002; 09-29-2005; 05-02-2006