Creation of the Board of Elections

Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance, enacted July 13, 1787, established not only the manner in which the Northwest Territory was to be governed, but the procedures under which new territory could obtain full statehood. It also was the first general legislation by the Continental Congress on the subject of real property.

17th State
On March 1, 1803, Ohio became the 17th State to enter the Union. Its’ entry was based upon the Northwest Ordinance, the Enabling Act of April 30, 1802, and the Ohio Constitution, adopted November 29, 1802. Formal Congressional admittance of Ohio into the Union was by a Joint Resolution of Congress (H.J. Resolution 121), on August 7, 1953, to take effect March 1, 1803 (Public Law 204, Chapter 337).

Edward Tiffin
Edward Tiffin was elected the first Governor of Ohio on January 11, 1803, and took the oath of office March 3, 1803. The first legislature met on March 1, 1803. The State Capital was at Chillicothe, 1803-1810.

Mahoning County
By action of the Ohio Legislature, Mahoning County was created in 1846. Incorporated Village of Youngstown, 1848.

Western Reserve Area
Ohioans from the Western Reserve Area served in both the 23rd and 105th Volunteer Infantry Companies during the American Civil War. In order to cast their ballots in the 1864 Presidential Election the votes were collected by the Judges of the Election as the column was in “march”.

Democratic Process of Voting
Were it not for the democratic process of voting, this nation and most of the world would still be living, for the most part, in the Dark Ages, uninformed and subjected to the will of a few. The word ballot originated from the Latin Word “ballota” and the French word “ballote” meaning a ball, which was an object of recreation in Greek and Roman courts. Citizens of ancient Greece cast their secret ballots in the form of balls of stone or metal, or marked shells called “ostrakon.” Those persons termed “undesirable” would be voted upon by a required secret vote of 6,000 citizens. In the early days of Rome, wooden tickets, known as “tabellae” were used as ballots in civic and legal affairs. The ballot came over to America with the first settlers where citizens of New England would vote by paper, thus making it the foundation of their governmental system.

Evolution of Ballot Casting
In 1647 a Massachusetts ballot stated that the vote would be cast by: “writing the names of the persons elected, in papers open or once folded, not twisted nor rolled up, that they may be sooner perused.” Arriving on the scene, later, in England was the Viva Voce system of voting known as the “voice vote”. When asked how he would vote, the persons would answer, publicly and vocally the name of his choice and have his vote enrolled by the clerks. In 1800 the secret ballot was adopted for the government of the Northwest Territory, having already been introduced in all but one of the eastern seaboard states. The Enabling Act of 1802 set further provisions for the elective process and required residence in the Northwest Territory for 1 year prior to the day of election, and the payment of taxes as a qualification for the privilege of voting.

Birth of Ohio
The birth of Ohio was in 1803. The majority of state had some form of ballot by the mid-1800s. It wasn’t unusual for a political party to come out with counterfeit ballots purporting to be that of the opposition but listing its own candidates instead. This corruption in politics was blunted by an Ohio law in 1854 stipulating that all ballots be written on plain white paper not more than 2 and 1-half nor less than 2 and 3-eights inches wide, or printed with black ink within a space not less than 1-fifth inch between each name.
The answer others had sought but had not found arrived in 1857 - the Australian Ballot. This popular new ballot moved westward to England and Across the ocean to Canada and the United States. It was first adopted in this country by the Kentucky Legislature on February 24, 1888. In Ohio, ballots prescribed as to form by the Secretary of State, as set forth by State law. The Australian ballot arrived on the Ohio scene April 30, 1891, by an act of the legislature. It was amended in February and March of the following year.

Australian & Judicial Ballot
Following Ohio’s adoption of the Australian Ballot, or secret form of voting, many changes were forthcoming. In 1949 the voters of Ohio made possible the adoption of the Office Type Ballot by an amendment of the Constitution. The Judicial Ballot is a separate ballot. Municipal officials, township officials, and members of the Boards of Education are elected in the General Election in odd-numbered years. Primaries are held in only a part of Ohio’s municipalities to select party nominees for municipal posts. Effective in 1962, all state officials were to be elected for 4-year terms.