House Bill 194 (effective 9-30-11) makes some significant changes to Ohio’s election laws— including a number of provisions affecting schools. Among the key provisions are the following:

  • Schools are prohibited from transporting students, during the regular school day, to a polling place or board of elections for the purpose of casting a ballot. (ORC 3599.30)
  • Elected officials (such as school board members) may not, during the 90 days before their name appears on the ballot, produce or disseminate with office resources any mass communication or advertising that includes their name or photograph (other than routine office correspondence). (ORC 3517.211)
  • Political subdivisions (such as school districts) placing an issue on the ballot at a special election are required to pay at least 65% of the estimated election cost prior to the election. (ORC 3501.17)
  • Ballot issues and questions may be withdrawn at any time prior to 70 days before an election. (ORC 3505.05)
  • The presidential primary election date has been moved from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May. (Next year’s presidential primary/May special election will therefore be held on May 8, 2012.) The bill also eliminates the special election occurring in March and brings back the February special election in presidential primary years. (ORC 3501.01)*

Note that the new law affects certain deadlines for the upcoming November 2011 election. A revised 2011 BASA School Issue Calendar and the new 2012 BASA School Issue Calendar may be accessed by following these links: 2011 2012