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Report: Biden Could Be Excluded From Ballot In Key Battleground State

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


President Joe Biden’s name may not appear on the general election ballot in a key battleground state later this year due to a major scheduling conflict, ABC News reports.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office noted in a letter to the state’s Democratic Chair, Liz Walters, on Friday that the Democratic National Committee’s nomination convention takes place a week after presidential nominees must be certified.

“In the letter, obtained by ABC News, legal counsel for Secretary of State Frank LaRose sought clarification for ‘an apparent conflict in Ohio law’ between the Democratic National Committee’s nominating process and the deadline by which the party’s presidential nominee must be certified to the Secretary of State’s office,” the outlet reported.

“The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to convene on Aug. 19, which will take place more than a week after the Aug. 7 deadline to certify a presidential candidate in Ohio, the office flagged according to state code, which would create a problem for Biden’s eligibility,” ABC News added.

Paul Disantis, legal counsel for LaRose’s office, wrote in the letter: “I am left to conclude that the Democratic National Committee must either move up its nominating convention or the Ohio General Assembly must act by May 9, 2024 (90 days prior to a new law’s effective date) to create an exception to this statutory requirement.”

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He asked Walters for a quick response on how the Democratic Party planned to come into compliance with the state law.

“We’re monitoring the situation in Ohio and we’re confident that Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states,” a Biden campaign spokesperson confirmed to ABC News.

It could be a wash either way for Biden: Ohio has grown increasingly red in recent election cycles, electing Donald Trump twice by 8 points in 2016 and 2020. Still, the state has a recent history of being a battleground and has 18 electoral votes.

The rush to get Biden qualified to be on the ballot in Ohio is dissimilar from the effort to keep his likely opponent, Donald Trump, off the ballot in a number of other states. Groups attempted to claim that Trump was ineligible under the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, a claim that has been negated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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In February, Justice Samuel Alito argued that Colorado’s prohibition of Trump’s eligibility to run for president in that state was “quite severe.”

During oral arguments before the nation’s highest court, Alito asked Trump’s attorney, Jonathan Mitchell, about whether Colorado was attempting to create legislation that could be applied to other states.

“Suppose there is a country that proclaims again and again and again that the United States is its biggest enemy, and suppose that the president of the United States, for diplomatic reasons, thinks it is in the best interest of the United States to provide funds or release funds so that they can be used by that country, could a state determine that person has given aid and comfort to the enemy and therefore keep that person off of the ballot?” Alito asked.

Mitchell responded that Colorado does not follow the legal doctrine of collateral estoppel or issue preclusion, which forbids a party from re-litigating a matter that has already been determined in a previous court case, so it does not establish a precedent for other states.

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The high court overturned Colorado’s decision early last month, meaning Trump will remain on the ballot in the blue-leaning state as well as in other states where plaintiffs were attempting to have him removed.

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig outlined how he thought the court would rule in the 14th Amendment cases.

“The Court has every incentive to use a silver bullet here. One shot and we’re done,” he said.

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