Ban on Election Officials Collaborating with Faith Communities Threatens our Ministry

State Senator Matt Huffman, Ohio Senate President

In 2021, the Ohio Legislature passed a budget with an obscure provision that would prevent election officials from working with non-governmental organizations, including faith communities, to register voters, get people to the polls and help people vote absentee.

But this is a strong part of our faith traditions. For decades, congregations have led community engagement efforts to encourage people to know their power and vote. People of faith have been, and continue to be, at the forefront of breaking barriers toward the freedom of all people. Now, that is at risk.

Sign on to our letter here, to let Senate President Huffman and the Ohio Senate know that vital ministries in your community will be affected by this ban and ask them to reverse it. Do not let the legislature threaten our holy work and, by extension, our democracy by banning faithful non-partisan engagement.

This action is co-sponsored by All Voting is Local, CAIR Ohio, Faith in Public Life Ohio, National Council of Jewish Women - Cleveland, Ohio Council of Churches, The Freedom BLOC, and Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio.

Sponsored by
Washington, DC
Additional Sponsors
Worthington, OH

To: State Senator Matt Huffman, Ohio Senate President
From: [Your Name]

Senate President Huffman and Ohio Senators,

Last year, our legislature passed a budget that includes language banning elections officials from collaborating with non-governmental organizations. The language would prevent local boards of elections from working with our congregations and other non-partisan partners on voter registration, absentee voting, election official recruitment, and a number of other activities. This law would hold elections officials liable and leave them subject to prosecution for assisting community groups in efforts that lead to a safe and accessible election process.

As people of faith who encourage our congregations to participate in civic engagement, we cannot sit by and let this provision stand.

As states rush to enact anti-voter provisions across the country, Ohio has passed one of the most restrictive measures in the nation hidden in the language of a massive state budget. This will undeniably have a negative effect on our ministries as many congregations do voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts in a non-partisan fashion.

Frank LaRose, the Ohio Secretary of State, has stated that collaborating with community organizations is something that every Secretary of State has done regardless of party, while asking the legislature to revisit this provision. We join Secretary LaRose in this call and implore the State Senate to introduce and pass legislation to nullify this “Collaboration Ban” language.


The undersigned