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Legislative fix to put Biden on Ohio ballot unlikely

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(The Center Square) – Republican and Democratic leaders remain confident President Joe Biden will be on the Ohio ballot in November, but none believe it will come through a fix from the Legislature.

Both House Speaker Jason Stephens, R-Kitts Hill, and Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, said lawmakers are unwilling to vote on a change in state law that would allow Biden to appear on the ballot despite the timing of the Democratic National Convention.

Russo told reporters she thinks the solution will have to come through a lawsuit or the Democratic Party.

In a statement Wednesday, Russo said, “While political dysfunction appears to have closed the door on a legislative solution ensuring President Biden would be on the November ballot, multiple pathways that have always been better options remain open for meeting the Aug. 7 deadline. Every elected and party official involved in this is well aware that the deadline is fast approaching. The secretary of state’s latest letter offers no new or additional information. Come November, the voters will get what they are constitutionally guaranteed – President Joe Biden on the ballot and a means to exercise their freedom to vote.”

In early April, Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s chief legal counsel sent Ohio Democratic Party Chairwoman Liz Walters a letter explaining the deadline to certify a presidential candidate in Ohio is Aug. 7.

The Democratic National Convention and nominating process is not scheduled to begin until Aug. 19 in Chicago. Biden has enough pledged delegates for the nomination and is the expected nominee.

According to state law, a political party nominating and certifying candidates must certify the names of the candidates to the secretary of state on or before the 90th day before the day of the general election.

LaRose council Paul Disantis said either state lawmakers must change the law or national Democrats must change their nominating date.

LaRose sent another letter Tuesday to Walters, this time stating that the party has yet to comply with the state’s ballot access deadline.

LaRose wrote in the letter, “With a legislative remedy taken off the table, I must remind you that the deadline is fast approaching, and the matter remains unresolved. Unless your party plans to comply with the statutory deadline, I am duty-bound to instruct boards of elections to begin preparing ballots that do not include the Democratic Party’s nominees for president and vice president of the United States.”

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