Heritage Action Applauds Ohio’s Overdue Ban of Foreign Interference in State Elections

Press Releases · May 31, 2024

WASHINGTON—Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million activists nationwide, including thousands of Ohioans, applauds the Ohio General Assembly for passing House Bill 1, legislation to combat nefarious interference in state elections by banning foreign funding from flowing to ballot issue campaigns.

Former Kansas Assistant Secretary of State and Heritage Action Director of State Advocacy Catherine Gunsalus released the following statement:

“Legislation to stop foreign billionaires from meddling in Ohio’s elections is long overdue, and Heritage Action is happy to see this bill finally cross the finish line. For months, Heritage has praised the Ohio Senate for continually voting to ban foreign nationals from funding ballot issue campaigns—a commonsense position supported by the vast majority of Americans. While the delay in taking up this provision was unfortunate and inexplicable, all Ohioans can celebrate today and know their elections will be more secure moving forward.

“Heritage Action thanks Ohio Senate Majority Leader McColley and State Senator Gavarone for championing this issue, House leadership for finally moving the bill forward, and Gov. DeWine for standing up for election integrity. We look forward to seeing the governor sign this bill and continuing to work to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Ohio.”

As reported by Honest Elections Project Action and Americans for Public Trust, foreign interests influencing our elections is not just a hypothetical problem. Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has given $243 million to the Left-wing Sixteen Thirty Fund, which advocates for progressive policies across the country. The Sixteen Thirty Fund spent more than $14 million on ballot campaigns in Ohio in 2023.

According to recent polling, 85% of registered voters in Ohio and 78% of Americans agree that foreign nationals should not be influencing our elections, ​​while 68% would support a law to block indirect foreign influence of elections.

Ohio currently ranks 12th out of 51 on The Heritage Foundation’s Election Integrity Scorecard.