Will Biden be on the Ohio ballot in November? Why the state's Republican governor says they're 'running out of time' to make sure he is.

Ohio is in a race to certify Joe Biden on the ballot as the Democratic presidential candidate.

There have been holdups in Ohio that may threaten President Joe Biden's name from being on the state's ballot for the 2024 presidential election.
There have been holdups in Ohio that may threaten President Joe Biden's name from being on the state's ballot for the 2024 presidential election. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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President Joe Biden has yet to be certified as the Democratic presidential nominee in the state of Ohio, and leaders from both political parties are getting antsy.

Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has called for a rare special session of the state’s General Assembly — set for Tuesday, May 28 — to vote on legislation ensuring that Biden will be on the state’s 2024 presidential ballot, but stressed in a May 23 post on X that Ohio is “running out of time” to make it happen.

The measure has already encountered several challenges that have kept it from moving forward. Here’s what you need to know.

In Ohio, both parties must certify their presidential candidates with Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office 90 days before the Nov. 5 general election, which in this case would be Aug. 7.

However, the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for Aug. 19 to Aug. 22 in Chicago, where Biden is to be formally nominated, falls after the state’s ballot deadline.

LaRose, a Republican, warned Ohio Democrats on April 5 that legislation to extend that deadline needed to be presented and voted on by May 9, which is 90 days out from Aug. 7, since that’s how long it would take for such legislation to take effect after it’s signed by DeWine.

During the General Assembly session on May 9, the Senate passed legislation to address the deadline extension. But the House never took it up for a vote, which caused legislators to miss the deadline previously set forth by LaRose.

Former President Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
Former President Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

There have been two competing proposals — one in the House and one in the Senate — that would have extended the deadline to certify both Trump and Biden’s place on the November ballot. They’ve both reached a standstill.

The Senate’s bill, which Democrats oppose, links the extension deadline proposal with an amendment banning political campaigns from accepting donations from foreign entities — one year after a Swiss billionaire’s donations helped enshrine abortion rights in the state. The House proposed a straightforward bill that would permanently change the deadline from 90 days to 74 days before the election..

The Senate passed its version on May 9, but House Speaker Jason Stephens adjourned without putting it to vote, upsetting numerous Ohio Democrats. Stephens told the press there was “just not the will” to pass the solution in the legislature.

On Thursday, DeWine announced the special legislative session to ensure that the issue is resolved in a timely manner.

“I've waited. I've been patient. And my patience has run out,” he said at a news conference, according to the Associated Press. “Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden … on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is simply not acceptable. This is a ridiculous — this is an absurd — situation.”

As DeWine explained on X, the special session allows for the General Assembly to pass legislation that would ensure that both major party candidates will be on the state’s ballot in November, and prohibit foreign nationals from contributing to campaign spending in the state.

Ohio changed its certification deadline from 75 days to 90 days before election day in 2010, and ever since, the state has had to make short-term fixes to accommodate both parties before each general election.

Former President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney faced a similar challenge in Ohio in 2012, when lawmakers passed a temporary deadline change as part of an unrelated bill, according to Cleveland.com. The state did the same thing in 2020 for Biden and Donald Trump’s first presidential face-off.

Alabama experienced the same dilemma this year, but in April, unanimously voted to waive the deadline so that Biden can be on the ballot.

Washington state did as well, but the state resolved it fairly quickly.

According to ABC News, Stuart Holmes, the director of elections under Washington’s Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, said his office is making an exception to the deadline that would allow Washington Democrats to certify Biden as their nominee so long as they submit it before Aug. 20.

“Although we are confident that Donald Trump will win decisively in November, we agree wholeheartedly with the Governor’s decision to call the legislature into an emergency session to place Joe Biden on the November ballot,” the Ohio Republican Party said in a statement.

“[We] strongly support the idea that Ohioans deserve the opportunity to cast their votes for their preferred major-party candidate and that we also deserve to have elections that are free from foreign financial interests,” it continued. “We encourage all legislators to get this done for the good of all Ohioans.”

Ohio’s House Minority Leader, Democrat Allison Russo, suggested in a post on X that DeWine’s motivation to hold the special session was “not really about Biden” but rather to “hold gerrymandered power” by pushing the deadline even further.

“The ‘fix’ would take effect (around Aug. 29) AFTER the bill’s new presidential certification date (Aug. 23),” she pointed out.

Elizabeth Walters, the Ohio Democratic Party chair, told the Ohio Capital Journal that the constant delays are an attempt by Republicans to take Biden off the ballot.

“Republican politicians at the statehouse made clear that they want to take away Ohioans’ ability to choose who they want to be president,” she said. “Throughout this process, corrupt politicians in Columbus have politicized the process and used it to play political games.”

Meanwhile, Charles Lutvak, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said that Biden’s name will be on the ballot in all 50 states.

“Election after election, states across the country have acted in line with the bipartisan consensus and taken the necessary steps to ensure the presidential nominees from both parties will be on the ballot. And this election is no different,” he said in a statement to the New York Times.