Bill Passed in Ohio Ensuring Biden’s Spot in November Ballot

President Joe Biden will be able to appear on the Ohio presidential ballot this November after all.

The state General Assembly passed a legislative update that will ensure that Biden can appear on Ohio’s ballot. Before this update, it was possible that Democrats would’ve missed the deadline to certify a candidate, which would have left liberals with a big hole in what’s going to be a battleground state.

Just last week, the state’s Republican secretary of state, Frank LaRose, said Biden wouldn’t be included on Ohio’s ballot because he wouldn’t be officially nominated by his party until after the state’s deadline for certifying nominees for president. 

That deadline in Ohio is August 7, which is two weeks before the Democratic National Committee is set to officially name Biden the party’s nominee at its Chicago convention. 

In response, the DNC said last week that it would hold a “virtual roll call” to nominate Biden ahead of that date so they wouldn’t miss the deadline. 

That’s no longer necessary, though, following Ohio’s move this week.

The bill that the General Assembly passed will push back the filing deadline. This means that Democrats will easily be able to meet the deadline according to the convention schedule.

Republican Governor Mike Dewine is set to sign the bill this weekend, pending a legal review, one of his spokesman said recently.

This is nothing new for Ohio, actually. The state passed temporary extensions for presidential nominees for candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in 2012, and then again for Donald Trump in 2020.

In addition, Ohio isn’t the only state that has this issue. Alabama and other states routinely pass temporary legislative fixes throughout election cycles, and they’ve done so again for 2024.

The issue in Ohio was up in the air for a bit, though, because the state Senate advanced a bill that provided a solution to the issue but also included a partisan measure that would ban all foreign money in state ballot initiatives.

Democrats were opposed to that, which led to the Ohio House not taking up the measure before they adjourned.

The governor, though, called a special legislative session so the problem could be fixed, saying legislators failed “to take action on this urgent matter.”

Ultimately, the General Assembly adopted two separate bills. One fixed the ballot issue at hand, and another banned donations from foreign nationals that support state ballot initiatives. That includes immigrants who have green cards.

The Democratic National Committee denounced the “partisan games” that Republican lawmakers in Ohio were playing to delay a solution to this problem.

A spokeswoman for the DNC, Hannah Muldavin, said in a statement:

“Since the beginning of this process, Ohio Republicans have been playing partisan games and trying to chip away at our democracy, while Democrats have been defending Ohioans’ right to vote.”

The leader of the state Senate in Ohio, Republican Matt Huffman praised the ban on foreign influence, saying in a statement:

“[Ohio] needed to ensure that President Biden is on the ballot in November, and it needed to be done legislatively.”