Biden Ohio Ballot Access Story Keeps Getting Better and Better

I can confidently predict that Joe Biden will be on the Ohio general election ballot — eventually.

When it will happen, I can’t say for sure. But watching the process and watching Democrats squirm is worth the price of admission.

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State law says that presidential candidates must be certified 90 days before the general election in order for their names to appear on the ballot. This year, the deadline falls on August 7. The problem is that the Democratic National Convention in Chicago begins two weeks later, on August 19. 

Earlier this year, Alabama fixed a similar problem for Biden by passing legislation that granted his campaign a waiver for their deadline. However, Ohio is playing keep away with Biden and refusing to grant any special favors at the moment.

NBC News reports that Biden may have to sue to get on the Ohio ballot. I hope it’s a Republican judge. “Sorry, but the docket is full up until November 5. Can’t this wait?”

That won’t happen, of course. Republicans are already maneuvering to get the president on the Ohio ballot. Not doing so would make permanent enemies out of half the state’s voters. 

But the fact that the Biden team took Ohio’s rules for granted and expected Republicans to play nice and grant Biden ballot access says something about their arrogance.

The Ohio General Assembly adjourned on Wednesday without finding a legislative solution to the filing deadline. It wasn’t so much that the Republicans were trying to keep Biden off the ballot. They just didn’t try very hard to get him on the ballot. 

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Earlier this month, a bill to accommodate the Democrats’ certification timeline stalled in the Legislature; state Senate Republicans attached a rider to ban foreign money in state ballot campaigns to the opposition of Democrats after the bill had passed, and the Republican state House speaker, Rep. Jason Stephens, declined to take up the measure.

“The Biden issue is — it’s a hyper-political environment at this time of year,” Stephens said on Tuesday. “I think there are other alternatives to do it, so why create a stir unnecessarily?”

Biden has all but given up on taking Ohio. The state has gotten several shades redder since 2016 with Trump winning 53% of the vote in 2020. But the president shouldn’t fear. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, looking to prevent his state from getting a black eye, has called a special session for Tuesday for the sole purpose of passing a waiver to get Biden on the Ohio presidential ballot.

“The Legislature had [a] session yesterday and again failed to take any action. This is simply unacceptable,” DeWine said Thursday. “Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting president of the United States, on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is simply not acceptable. This is a ridiculous — this is an absurd situation.”

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Fox News:

DeWine has scolded members of his own party for not making earnest efforts to put the president on the ballot.

[Ohio secretary  state Frank] LaRose, a Republican who was a 2024 Senate candidate but lost to Bernie Moreno in the GOP primary, says the Democratic Party has yet to offer a solution that fits with existing law. 

“I’ve said from here to Colorado that it’s in the best interest of voters to have a choice in the race for president. I’m also duty-bound to follow the law as Ohio’s chief elections officer,” LaRose said in a statement Tuesday.

DeWine was no doubt getting snarky calls from Democratic governors telling him to get Biden on the ballot, or they’d make fun of him at the next National Governors Association meeting.

DeWine is right. Ohio would suffer a blow to its prestige if Biden were left off the ballot on a technicality.

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