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 May 23, 2024

Joe Biden Will Not Appear On Ohio Ballot Unless Democrats Come Up With Legal Solution

The predicament of President Joe Biden's candidacy for the Ohio ballot exposes a clash between electoral deadlines and national convention schedules.

The Epoch Times reported that President Biden may be excluded from the Ohio ballot in the upcoming general election unless the Democratic Party meets the state's early nomination deadline.

In Ohio, a critical battleground state, the law requires presidential candidates to be nominated by their party 90 days before the general election. This sets the deadline at August 7, 2024. However, the Democratic National Convention, where Biden is expected to secure his re-nomination, is scheduled for August 19–22 in Chicago.

This discrepancy poses a significant challenge to Biden's inclusion on the Ohio ballot.

Chronology of Events Leading to Biden's Ballot Dilemma

In April, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, alerted the state’s Democratic officials about the scheduling conflict. LaRose emphasized the potential of President Biden missing the nomination deadline due to the planned date for the Democratic National Convention.

LaRose's concern was communicated through a formal notification process, where he expressed his unwillingness to exclude Biden but highlighted the statutory constraints. He reiterated the importance of having major party candidates represented on the ballot for the benefit of Ohio’s voters.

Responding to the timing issue, Ohio lawmakers considered emergency legislation to adjust either the party nomination date in state law or the convention schedule.

Despite bipartisan acknowledgment of the problem, Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens indicated a lack of consensus among legislators to amend the rule in time, citing a "hyper-political environment." Steps to resolve this legislative stalemate led nowhere as Republican lawmakers voiced varying opinions on the necessity of the adjustment.

Amid these legislative debates, Ohio Democrats accused state Republicans of jeopardizing the election’s integrity by not facilitating a simple fix to the nomination deadline. Liz Walters, chairwoman of the Ohio Democratic Party, criticized the actions as an impediment to Ohioans' presidential choice.

New Developments and Responses from Officials

In early May, an Ohio Senate bill proposed a stop-gap measure to avert the exclusion of Biden from the ballot, while also controversially addressing matters of foreign contributions in state campaigns. This bill, however, contrasted with previous House proposals and faced opposition.

Subsequently, LaRose sent a poignant reminder to Democratic leaders about the impending deadlines and the possibility of proceeding with ballot preparations without Biden’s name, should no solution be found. He suggested that a temporary legislative adjustment to the nomination deadline would be most straightforward.

The Democratic National Committee began contemplating either staging an earlier mini-convention or taking legal actions to ensure Biden’s nomination prior to the August 7 deadline.

Meanwhile, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost articulated that provisional nominations were not legally valid and that the Secretary of State did not have the authority to alter stipulated deadlines on his own discretion.

Charles Lutvak, a spokesperson for President Biden, confidently stated that Biden would be on the ballot in all 50 states, implying a resolution would be reached. Don McTigue, a Democratic Party attorney, suggested the possibility of a provisional certification of Biden and Kamala Harris by the deadline, despite the legal concerns raised by the Attorney General.

Potential Outcomes and Continued Debates

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and other high-profile officials seem optimistic about finding a solution, hinting that Biden will likely be on Ohio's ballot. Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo echoed this sentiment, pointing to various potential pathways for resolution, albeit amid ongoing partisan disputes.

In conclusion, while political and procedural hurdles loom, the efforts to ensure a fair electoral process in Ohio continue. Various stakeholders from both political spectrums are exploring legislative, provisional, and legal remedies to secure the presence of all rightful candidates on the ballot, ensuring that Ohio voters have a complete roster of options come election day.

Written By:
Christina Davie

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