web analytics

Democrats Scramble to Get Joe Biden on the Ohio Ballot

Bending one state’s election laws doesn’t bother the defenders of democracy.

As precarious as Joe Biden’s chances of winning a second White House term in November seem now, there is one significant obstacle standing in his way. This particular roadblock, if not overcome, could prove decisive in his bid for re-election. The incumbent is not on the general election ballot in one of the most important battleground states, Ohio. If the Democratic Party fails to resolve the issue and Biden’s name doesn’t appear on the Ohio ballot, the Buckeye State’s 17 Electoral College votes – down from 18 in 2020 – are as good as gift-wrapped for Donald Trump.

Trump supporters need not get too excited, though, because it appears that Democrats have come up with the solution to the problem. Biden was set to officially receive his party’s presidential nomination at the 2024 Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled to be held in Chicago, Aug. 19-22. Ohio law states that political parties must confirm their presidential nominees 90 days prior to the general election — meaning Democrats were on track to miss that Aug. 7 deadline.

The new plan, announced by Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Jaime Harrison, is for Biden and Kamala Harris – presumably – to be nominated via a virtual roll call, which will be held before the convention – and, of course, before the Ohio ballot deadline.

Ohio Ballot Snafu Was Whose Fault?

Harrison, in a statement, laid the blame for the snafu squarely on Republicans. “Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio and all 50 states, and Ohio Republicans agree,” he said. “But when the time has come for action, they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will land this plane on our own.” It’s a somewhat disingenuous statement. The Republicans’ failure to act, as Harrison puts it, was, in fact, their refusal to alter or at least bend Ohio law to accommodate Biden.

Indeed, Ohio State Senate Republicans passed a bill that, for 2024, would have pushed back Ohio’s certification deadline to accommodate the DNC convention. However, that bill also contained a ban on foreign contributions to ballot initiatives, which was rejected by Democrats. Two other bills that would have created a permanent fix for the Ohio ballot deadline problem both failed to make it as far as a vote on the Ohio House floor.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose wasn’t having any of the Democrats’ blame-shifting. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, he wrote:

“As Ohio’s chief elections officer, I refuse to bend the rules to benefit a candidate. Critics allege that my decision to uphold the law will deprive Ohio voters of the opportunity to choose their president. Never mind that I didn’t create this problem, nor do I wish for that outcome.”

Perhaps the scheduling of the DNC convention to a date after the Ohio ballot deadline was a mere oversight. Against a backdrop of near-constant objections by Democrats to any measures that secure and protect the integrity of US elections, however, an outside observer could be forgiven for thinking that this is one more example of the contempt they appear to hold for state-level election laws.

Read More From Graham J Noble

Latest Posts

The Once and Future SCOTUS

We examine the current state of the Supreme Court and dig deep into the partisan challenges from Congress and the...

Has King Dollar Been Dethroned?

For the US dollar, it has been the best of times and the worst of times.  Over the last few years, the greenback...

San Francisco Wins Worst Run City Award – Again

It's official: The worst-run city for the second year in a row is none other than San Francisco. The city by the...