Section 3501.22 | Precinct officials.
(A)(1) On or before the fifteenth day of September in each year, the board of elections by a majority vote shall, after careful examination and investigation as to their qualifications, appoint for each election precinct four residents of the county in which the precinct is located, as precinct election officials. Except as otherwise provided in division (C) of this section, all precinct election officials shall be qualified electors. The precinct election officials shall constitute the election officers of the precinct. Not more than one-half of the total number of precinct election officials shall be members of the same political party. The term of such precinct officers shall be for one year. The board may, at any time, designate any number of election officers, not more than one-half of whom shall be members of the same political party, to perform their duties at any precinct in any election. The board may appoint additional officials, equally divided between the two major political parties, when necessary to expedite voting. If the board of elections determines that four precinct election officials are not required in a precinct for a special election, the board of elections may select two of the precinct's election officers, who are not members of the same political party, to serve as the precinct election officials for that precinct in that special election.
Vacancies for unexpired terms shall be filled by the board. When new precincts have been created, the board shall appoint precinct election officials for those precincts for the unexpired term. Any precinct election official may be summarily removed from office at any time by the board for neglect of duty, malfeasance, or misconduct in office or for any other good and sufficient reason.
Precinct election officials shall perform all of the duties provided by law for receiving the ballots and supplies, opening and closing the polls, and overseeing the casting of ballots during the time the polls are open, and any other duties required by section 3501.26 of the Revised Code.
A board of elections may designate two precinct election officials as counting officials to count and tally the votes cast and certify the results of the election at each precinct, and perform other duties as provided by law. To expedite the counting of votes at each precinct, the board may appoint additional officials, not more than one-half of whom shall be members of the same political party.
Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(2) of this section, the board shall designate one of the precinct election officials who is a member of the dominant political party to serve as a voting location manager, whose duty it is to deliver the returns of the election and all supplies to the office of the board. For these services, the voting location manager shall receive additional compensation in an amount, consistent with section 3501.28 of the Revised Code, determined by the board of elections.
The board shall issue to each precinct election official a certificate of appointment, which the official shall present to the voting location manager at the time the polls are opened.
(2) If the board of elections, by a vote of at least three members of the board, opts to have a single voting location serve more than one precinct, the board may do both of the following:
(a) Designate a single presiding judge for the voting location. The presiding judge shall be a member of the political party whose candidate received the highest number of votes for governor at the most recent general election for that office in the precincts whose polling places are located at the applicable voting location, when tallying the combined vote for governor in all such precincts.
(b) Combine the pollbooks for those precincts to create a single pollbook for the voting location.
(B) If the board of elections determines that not enough qualified electors in a precinct are available to serve as precinct officers, it may appoint persons to serve as precinct officers at a primary, special, or general election who are at least seventeen years of age and are registered to vote in accordance with section 3503.07 of the Revised Code.
(C)(1) A board of elections, in conjunction with the board of education of a city, local, or exempted village school district, the governing authority of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, or the chief administrator of a nonpublic school may establish a program permitting certain high school students to apply and, if appointed by the board of elections, to serve as precinct officers at a primary, special, or general election.
In addition to the requirements established by division (C)(2) of this section, a board of education, governing authority, or chief administrator that establishes a program under this division in conjunction with a board of elections may establish additional criteria that students shall meet to be eligible to participate in that program.
(2)(a) To be eligible to participate in a program established under division (C)(1) of this section, a student shall be a United States citizen, a resident of the county, at least seventeen years of age, and enrolled in the senior year of high school.
(b) Any student applying to participate in a program established under division (C)(1) of this section, as part of the student's application process, shall declare the student's political party affiliation with the board of elections.
(3) No student appointed as a precinct officer pursuant to a program established under division (C)(1) of this section shall be designated as a voting location manager.
(4) Any student participating in a program established under division (C)(1) of this section shall be excused for that student's absence from school on the day of an election at which the student is serving as a precinct officer.
(D) In any precinct with six or more precinct officers, up to two students participating in a program established under division (C)(1) of this section who are under eighteen years of age may serve as precinct officers. Not more than one precinct officer in any given precinct with fewer than six precinct officers shall be under eighteen years of age.
The Legislative Service Commission presents the text of this section as a composite of the section as amended by multiple acts of the General Assembly. This presentation recognizes the principle stated in R.C. 1.52(B) that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation.
Available Versions of this Section
- June 2, 2014 – Senate Bill 109, Senate Bill 216 - 130th General Assembly [ View June 2, 2014 Version ]
- October 17, 2019 – Amended by House Bill 166 - 133rd General Assembly [ View October 17, 2019 Version ]
- April 7, 2023 – Amended by House Bill 458 - 134th General Assembly [ View April 7, 2023 Version ]