On March 6, 2013, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 47 which would change the procedures and shorten the timelines for certain nominating and issue petitions. Among other things, the proposed changes include:

  • Clarifying that a signature on a nominating petition is not valid if it is dated more than a year preceding the petition being filed;
  • Clarifying that petition signers must be registered electors who reside in the precinct where the issue or candidacy will appear on the ballot;
  • Requiring that an electronic copy of the petition, with a summary and index, also be filed;
  • Prohibiting the collection of additional initiative or referendum petition signatures outside of the formal ten-day cure period and requiring that a distinct form be used;
  • Requiring boards of elections to verify the cure signatures within eight days, instead of the current five days;
  • Clarifying the petition protest process to conform with recent revisions in the Ohio Constitution; and
  • Eliminating the requirement that circulators for presidential electors be residents of Ohio.

S.B. 47 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.