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Legislation Aimed At Allowing Biden On Ohio Ballot Deemed Unlikely

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


As of now, President Joe Biden will not appear on the ballot in the key state of Ohio, and it doesn’t look like state legislators will bail him and the Democratic Party out, though the matter isn’t likely closed.

According to The Center Square, “both House Speaker Jason Stephens, R-Kitts Hill, and Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, said lawmakers are unwilling to vote on a change in state law that would allow Biden to appear on the ballot despite the timing of the Democratic National Convention.”

Russo told reporters last week that any solution will likely have to come as a result of a lawsuit or via the national Democratic Party.

The issue is this: The Democratic Party’s national convention, in which Biden is likely to be officially nominated as the party’s presidential candidate, falls after Ohio’s deadline to put candidates on ballots for the November election.

“While political dysfunction appears to have closed the door on a legislative solution ensuring President Biden would be on the November ballot, multiple pathways that have always been better options remain open for meeting the Aug. 7 deadline,” Russo said in a statement.

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“Every elected and party official involved in this is well aware that the deadline is fast approaching. The secretary of state’s latest letter offers no new or additional information. Come November, the voters will get what they are constitutionally guaranteed – President Joe Biden on the ballot and a means to exercise their freedom to vote,” she claimed.

The Democratic National Convention and the nominating process are scheduled to begin on August 19 in Chicago. Biden has secured enough pledged delegates for the nomination and is expected to be the nominee.

In early April, the chief legal counsel of Secretary of State Frank LaRose sent a letter to Ohio Democratic Party Chairwoman Liz Walters, pointing out the deadline. According to state law, a political party nominating and certifying candidates must certify the names of the candidates to the secretary of state no later than the 90th day before the general election.

The chief legal counsel for LaRose, Paul Disantis, stated that either state lawmakers need to change the law or national Democrats need to change their nominating date. LaRose sent another letter to Walters on Tuesday, this time stating that the party has not yet complied with the state’s ballot access deadline.

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“With a legislative remedy taken off the table, I must remind you that the deadline is fast approaching, and the matter remains unresolved. Unless your party plans to comply with the statutory deadline, I am duty-bound to instruct boards of elections to begin preparing ballots that do not include the Democratic Party’s nominees for president and vice president of the United States,” LaRose wrote.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that Ohio’s strict voter ID law, which includes a photo provision, is constitutional and has rejected a challenge to it.

The ruling tossed out a complaint filed by a Democratic law firm challenging provisions including a photo ID, “drop box restrictions, and tightened deadlines related to absentee and provisional ballots.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent, a Clinton appointee, found that the Ohio photo ID requirement, in particular, “imposes no more than a minimal burden, if any, for the vast majority of voters.”

“This ruling is a victory for the voters of Ohio,” LaRose told Courthouse News, “and it validates the work we’ve done to make our elections the gold standard in the nation for accountability and integrity.

“The safeguards we’ve adopted in Ohio ensure that our elections are secure, accurate, accessible, and constitutional. Unfortunately, that won’t stop radical special interests from trying to deceive Ohio’s voters into adopting new amendments that would unwind these critical protections. I’ll do everything I can to keep that from happening.”

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