The move by the Ohio GOP to have President Joe Biden on their November ballot has been rejected by its leaders.

A plan from the Democrats to have President Joe Biden on the November ballot was rejected by Ohio officials after the party scheduled its convention past a state election deadline.

Last week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose warned Ohio Democrats that if they are not cautious, Biden may fail to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot. The need for certification of ballots 90 days before any election is a requirement of state law. In addition, August 7th will be this year’s deadline but since Biden will only be officially nominated during the Democratic National Convention presided over by Aug.19th

In a letter written to LaRose’s office and obtained through USA TODAY Network’s Ohio Bureau attorney Don McTigue noted that the Democratic Party would provisionally certify Biden and Kamala Harris before August 7. Additionally, McTigue stated that after no strong primary challenge was presented, Biden had already received enough delegates for his nomination as a Democrat candidate.

Biden easily won the Ohio presidential primary with 87% of the vote.

“If President Biden and Vice President Harris are not listed as Democratic candidates on the ballot, their supporters in Ohio will be deprived of the opportunity to engage with a candidate of their choice,” McTeague wrote.

But Attorney General Dave Yost’s office says the temporary approval won’t work, nor can LaRose unilaterally change the election timeline.

“Instead, the bill forces the Democratic party to certify candidates for president and vice president on or before Aug. 7, 2024,” said Julie M. Schmidt, Yost’s staff attorney. Pfeiffer told LaRose’s attorney that “no other option is allowed.”

Ohio left Biden, a Democrat, in captivity
Pfeiffer’s letter appears to leave two options for Democrats: appeal to Congress, or appeal.

Lawmakers can extend the 90-day deadline until May 9, unlike in 2020 when the two sides scheduled their sessions too late. But his chances are slim: Prominent Democrats have said they are pulling away from the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and Republican leadership is unlikely to support it.

“I think it’s a Democratic problem,” Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, told reporters last week. “There has to be a Democratic solution. That’s not what I’ve been offered.”

Ohio is not the only state with a pre-convention voting period. Alabama and Washington are in the same boat, although the Washington secretary of state − a Democrat − could accept temporary testimony, according to the Seattle Times. Oklahoma, Illinois, Washington, and Montana have done the same in 2020 in both sections.

A spokeswoman for McTeague and the Biden campaign declined to answer questions about possible next steps.

“Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states,” a Biden campaign official said. “State officials have the power to issue provisional voting certificates before the end of presidential nominating sessions.”

Haley Bemiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Akron Beacon Journal, and 18 other affiliated news organizations throughout Ohio.

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