Democrats' plan to keep Biden on the ballot in Ohio

Under Ohio state election law, all candidates must be legally certified by August 7. The problem is that the Democratic National Convention (DNC) will take place on August 19th.

Joe Biden is not particularly popular in Ohio, where he was defeated by over eight percentage points in 2020. Although his campaign does not have many expectations for the Buckeye State, a new problem has arisen, and it is precisely the possibility of being on the November ballot, given that legislation complicates this aspect for the president.

According to local legislation, all candidates must be legally certified before August 7, but the Democratic National Convention (DNC) is scheduled for August 19. Although Governor Mike DeWine (R) has already taken action so that Biden can compete in Ohio, the party promoted another solution.

The Democrats were notified about the situation in early 2024, so they had to find a way to advance the certification of their candidate for the presidential elections. To circumvent this legislation, the Democratic Party announced it would nominate the president through a virtual slate of convention delegates.

This was confirmed by Jaime Harrison, president of the DNC, in a statement released on Tuesday. “Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio, and all 50 states and Ohio Republicans agree. But when the time has come for action, they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will land this plane on our own,” he said.

Through a virtual roll call, we will ensure that Republicans can’t chip away at our democracy through incompetence or partisan tricks and that Ohioans can exercise their right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice,” Harrison added.

The local legislature, controlled by the GOP, responded to Governor DeWine’s request. Indeed, the Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would allow Biden to be on the ballot, shortening the certification process from 90 days before the election to 74, moving the date to August 23, after the Democratic convention. However, the legislation would also prohibit foreign contributions to election campaigns.

While I understand the Democratic National Committee has just today proposed a work-around to help get President Biden on the Ohio ballot, it is prudent legislation be passed to get this done. As I previously said, we do not want to leave something so basic as having the sitting president of the United States on the ballot to others when this can and should be done legislatively. It’s the right thing to do,” the governor said in a statement.

“For these reasons, it is important that a bill or multiple bills that accomplish these common-sense measures come to my desk right away this week. It’s the right thing to do,” he added.