COLUMBUS– The Ohio House of Representatives today approved Senate Bill 109, sponsored by Senator Larry Obhof (R–Medina), which seeks to improve elections administration and oversight in Ohio. The Senate immediately concurred in House amendments and sent the bill to the Governor for his approval.
Among the changes, the bill attempts to provide local boards of elections with additional flexibility in their election day operations and assist them in streamlining the costs associated with election administration.
“This is a bill holds wide support, specifically among the people on the ground administering Ohio’s elections,” said Obhof. “This is a simple, common sense initiative that will make things easier and more cost effective.”
The bill standardizes the use of electronic pollbooks, provided they undergo appropriate testing and certification by the Secretary of State. Using electronic pollbooks to sign in voters at polling locations is faster for voters and enables boards of elections to easily update registration rolls between the early voting period and election day, saving them additional dollars.
Using such devices will also reduce voting errors by providing poll workers with instant, up-to-date information about voters’ proper polling locations. Some counties in Ohio are already using electronic pollbooks, and 27 other states have implemented their use.
Senate Bill 109 also includes many administrative changes such as permitting county boards of election to send certain documents electronically as opposed to U.S. mail, thus saving both time and money. These include documents such as those certifying that each polling location meets the requirements for disabled access. It also creates a notification process when candidates have identical names and specifies the procedure for removing a candidate’s name in the event they withdraw before an election.