Senate District 1
Rob McColley
McColley Announces Bill Protecting Ohioans' Voting Rights and Religious Freedoms Signed Into Law
September 16, 2020

COLUMBUS—State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) today 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.

"When the Governor ordered the primary polls closed he did so in violation of state law and the constitution. This bill further clarifies and strengthens current law which states that only the legislature can change an election, said McColley. "Further, it clarifies that future administrations cannot unconstitutionally restrict us from practicing our religion in a house of worship."

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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