Ohio Democrats’ Plan to Get Biden on November Ballot Rejected: What’s Next?

In a recent turn of events, Ohio officials have denied a plan put forth by Democrats aiming to include President Joe Biden on the November ballot.

This decision came after the Democratic Party scheduled its convention beyond a critical state election deadline. Let’s delve into the intricacies of this situation and explore the potential implications.

Ohio’s Electoral Framework: A Deadline Conundrum

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose sounded the alarm earlier this month, cautioning Ohio Democrats about the risk of President Biden missing the November 5 ballot.

The state’s electoral regulations stipulate that ballots must be certified 90 days prior to an election, a deadline set for August 7 this year. However, the Democratic National Convention, where Biden’s official nomination is expected, is scheduled for August 19.

Democratic Party’s Proposal: Provisional Certification

Attorney Don McTigue, representing the Democratic Party, proposed a provisional certification of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris before the August 7 deadline.

McTigue argued that Biden had already secured adequate delegates for the Democratic nomination, emphasizing the importance of ensuring Ohioans’ right to support their preferred candidates.

Legal Roadblocks: Challenges to the Proposed Solution

The Ohio Attorney General’s office, represented by Julie M. Pfeiffer, countered the proposal, asserting that provisional approval would not suffice. Pfeiffer emphasized the legal requirement for the Democratic Party to officially certify its presidential and vice-presidential candidates by August 7. This stance underscores the rigidity of electoral regulations.

Implications of Non-Inclusion: Ramifications for Ohio Democrats

The rejection of the Democrats’ plan leaves the party with limited options. They could seek legislative intervention, requiring a legislative exemption to the 90-day deadline by May 9. However, the prospects of such action appear dim, with Republican leaders showing reluctance to intervene in what they perceive as a Democratic Party issue.

National Context: Ohio’s Situation Amidst Similar Electoral Deadlines

Ohio’s predicament isn’t unique, as other states face similar challenges with election deadlines preceding their respective conventions. Alabama and Washington confront comparable issues, although Washington’s secretary of state has shown willingness to accept provisional certifications, as reported by the Seattle Times.

Biden Campaign’s Response: Ensuring Nationwide Ballot Access

Despite the setback, the Biden campaign remains resolute in its commitment to securing ballot access in all 50 states. While specifics regarding the next steps remain undisclosed, the campaign emphasizes the authority of state officials to grant provisional ballot access certification ahead of convention conclusions.


The rejection of the Democrats’ proposal underscores the complexities of electoral timelines and legal requirements. With Ohio officials holding firm on adherence to deadlines, the Democratic Party faces a challenging path forward.

As the situation unfolds, stakeholders await potential resolutions to ensure President Biden’s inclusion on the November ballot.

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