Ohio Elections Commission

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The Ohio Elections Commission is an independent disciplinary agency that is responsible for most disciplinary matters under Ohio's campaign finance laws.

Mission Statement

The Ohio Elections Commission will enforce the election provisions of the Ohio Revised Code with justice, equity, and fairness, and to issue advisory opinions from those sections of law within the jurisdiction of the Ohio Elections Commission. The Commission will respond to and advise interested parties and the citizens of Ohio on matters concerning campaign finance and fair campaign practices in a fair and equitable manner. Further, Commission staff will carry out all functions of the Ohio Elections Commission in a timely and effective manner, consistent with all other provisions of the Ohio revised code[1].


The Commission was first formed in 1974. The original Board that governed the Commission consisted of a five person board that was selected by the Ohio Secretary of State on the recommendation of the Chairpersons of the state's major political parties. The current framework of the Commssion was created in 1995 when the Commisssion was changed to an independent commission which began in 1996 with the current seven person board that governs the Commission[2].


The Commission is governed by a seven person board[3].

Selection of members

Each member who serves on the Ohio Elections Commission serves a staggered, five year term[4]. Members of the Commission are recommended to the Governor of Ohio by the legislative leaders where the party's vacancy occurs for the six partisan members that make up the commission[2]. No more than three members can be from the same party. The one independent member is selected by the six partisan members on the commission[2] and cannot be a member of any political party.

Each member is paid $25,000 annually for their services and they cannot make any contributions to any party or candidate during their tenure on the Commission[2].

Campaign finance discipline

The Ohio Elections Commission is responsible for handling all civil violations of Ohio's campaign finance laws. The first step in filing a campaign finance complaint is to file with the Ohio Elections Commission. Once a complaint is received, three members of the Commission form a probable cause panel to determine if there is enough probable cause to proceed with a complaint[5]. If there is enough probable cause in the opinion of the three person panel, the complaint is moved to the full commission[6]. If the full commission finds someone guilty, they can render a civil fine while criminal law violations are referred to the Ohio Attorney General[7].

See also

External links


  1. Ohio Elections Commission, "Mission"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ohio Elections Commission, "History"
  3. Ohio Elections Commission, "Members/Staff"
  4. [Confirmed with OH Elections Commission Staff on 4-12-2010]
  5. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code" (timed out)(Referenced Statute 3517.156 (A) Ohio Revised Code)
  6. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code" (timed out)(Referenced Statute 3517.156(c)(2) Ohio Revised Code)
  7. "Ohio General Assembly" Ohio Election Code (timed out)(Referenced Statute 3517.155 (A)(C) Ohio Revised Code)