(a) Absent voters' ballots are to be in all respects like other ballots. Not less than seventy days before the date on which any primary, general or special election is to be held, unless a lesser number of days is provided in any specific election law in which case the lesser number of days applies, the clerks of the county commissions of the several counties shall estimate and determine the number of absent voters' ballots of all kinds which will be required in their respective counties for that election. The ballots for the election of all officers, or the ratification, acceptance or rejection of any measure, proposition or other public question to be voted on by the voters, are to be prepared and printed under the direction of the board of ballot commissioners constituted as provided in article one of this chapter. The several county boards of ballot commissioners shall prepare and have printed, in the number they may determine, absent voters' ballots that are to be printed under their directions as provided in this chapter and those ballots are to be delivered to the clerk of the county commission of the county not less than forty-six days before the day of the election at which they are to be used.
(b) The official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting shall be responsible for the mailing, transmitting, receiving, delivering and otherwise handling of all absent voters' ballots. He or she shall keep a record, as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State, of all ballots delivered for the purpose of absentee voting, as well as all ballots, if any, marked before him or her and shall deliver to the commissioner of election a certificate stating the number of ballots delivered, transmitted, or mailed to absent voters and those marked before him or her, if any, and the names of the voters to whom those ballots have been delivered, transmitted, or mailed or by whom they have been marked, if marked before him or her.