Senate District 8
Louis W. Blessing, III
Blessing Announces Bill Protecting Ohioans' Voting Rights and Religious Freedoms Signed Into Law
September 17, 2020
COLUMBUS—State Senator Louis W. Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) announced the Governor has signed House Bill 272 into law. The bill protects in-person voting and prevents any public official from canceling or postponing an election. The bill also prohibits any state official from issuing any statewide or regional orders closing places of worship. Both provisions were added by the Senate during its consideration of the bill.
"House Bill 272 protects our most fundamental rights as Americans: the freedom of religion and the ability to vote," said Blessing. "Protecting future in-person elections is imperative to the preservation of our democracy." 

The provision protecting the freedom to worship was added in response to a number of “stay at home orders” throughout the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio did not prohibit churches or religious organizations from meeting, but a number of other states did so. The Senate amendment in House Bill 272 would prevent any such statewide or regional closures of churches, if such a situation arises again in Ohio. This is consistent with actions taken by the Trump Administration to declare houses of worship as “essential places that provide essential services.”

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