A ballot-counting machine at the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
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Ohio Senate OKs restrictions for absentee ballots

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Senate has passed a bill restricting who can send unsolicited absentee ballot applications to the swing state's voters and for what election years.

The proposal would allow only the secretary of state to mail the applications for general elections and only if the Legislature sets aside money for it. But he would be permitted to send them next year without the General Assembly allotting the money.

Other public officials would be barred from mailing unsolicited applications.

Senators approved the bill on a 22-11 vote Wednesday, sending it to the House.

Last year, Secretary of State Jon Husted sent unsolicited applications to roughly 6.9 million voters statewide for the first time. He's stressed the need for uniformity. In the past, only certain counties chose to distribute the applications.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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