Deadline Concerns Cast Doubt on Joe Biden's Ohio Ballot Appearance

National convention conflicts threaten presidential ballot placements.

by Nouman Rasool
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Deadline Concerns Cast Doubt on Joe Biden's Ohio Ballot Appearance
© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Joe Biden's nomination to appear on the November ballot of Ohio and that of his Vice President Kamala Harris remains up in the air during ongoing scheduling conflicts between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and state deadlines.

The disagreement is a conflict on the timing issue to do with both the DNC convention and the August 7 deadline it sets on certifying nominees in Ohio. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, received a proposal from Donald McTigue, an Ohio-based attorney seemingly representing the Democrats, suggesting a provisional certification for Biden and Harris.

This would allow their names to be placed on the ballot in anticipation of formal nomination at the DNC's upcoming convention. However, LaRose's legal counsel, Paul Disantis, countered this proposal, citing the absence of a legal provision for such provisional certification in state law, as confirmed by the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Ballot Access Dilemma

The DNC and the Biden campaign were previously alerted to this legal impasse by LaRose's office on April 5, highlighting a potential conflict that could prevent Biden from appearing on the ballot under current state laws.

This is not a unique situation to Ohio, as similar concerns have been raised by other states, including Alabama and Washington, where exemptions were eventually granted in past elections to accommodate late national conventions.

In response to the ongoing dilemma, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign reiterated their stance, emphasizing that Joe Biden will appear on the ballots in all 50 states, and suggested that state officials have previously accommodated such situations through provisional certifications.

This practice was notably followed by several states during the 2020 elections, including Alabama, Illinois, Montana, and Washington, which allowed names to be added to the ballot before official nomination confirmations.

Despite these precedents, some state officials remain hesitant. Alabama's Secretary of State Wes Allen, another Republican, dismissed the possibility of provisional certifications for the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, in Washington, Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs signaled openness to making an exception if the DNC provides provisional certification for the Democratic nominees.

As the debate continues, the Biden campaign has indicated that if provisional ballot certification proves unfeasible, they may seek legislative solutions in states like Ohio, where previous laws have been enacted to bypass similar nomination deadlines.

The issue also surfaces amid broader political discussions, with Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman expressing readiness to consider Democratic proposals, despite labeling the issue as a "Democratic problem."

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