COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General David Yost rejected a petition to ban vaccine mandates and passports throughout the state, his office announced Thursday. 

What You Need To Know

  • A petition seeking to change Ohio’s vaccine was rejected by Ohio AG David Yost

  • Yost cited the petition’s summary did not give a fair representation of the proposed law

  • The petition was circulated by a group that has opposed the state’s COVID-19 health orders

  • The petition comes as GOP lawmakers have failed to reach a consensus on banning vaccine mandates in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Yost’s office responded to the petitioners saying that language in the summary was not a fair and truthful representation of the proposed statute. It’s not uncommon for petitions to be rejected for this reason. 

For instance, on Aug. 5, Yost rejected a petition that attempted to legalize recreational marijuana. Two weeks later, with updated petition language in hand, Yost approved the language. 

The petition was circulated by Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom. The group has rallied against Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders. 

The petition circulated as Republicans in the General Assembly could not come to an agreement on bans on vaccine mandates throughout the state. 

The petition attempted to place a ban on schools, employers and venues from requiring vaccines. It also attempted to ban schools, employers and venues from inquiring about vaccine status. 

Yost said the petitioners failed to properly define “school” and “business.” The summary also failed to note exemptions to the proposed law, Yost’s office said.

If the petitioners are able to get their summary language approved, the next step would be to determine whether the proposal contains a single law or multiple laws. Once that is determined, petitioners can begin collecting signatures. 

If the group is successful in collecting 132,000 signatures from valid Ohio voters, the initiative would go before Ohio lawmakers, who could accept the proposal as presented. If lawmakers decline, the question could go before voters.