Biden's Ohio Ballot Woes: Election Deadline Clashes With DNC's Schedule

 April 20, 2024

President Joe Biden may find it challenging to secure his position on the Ohio ballot for his re-election, due to an unfortunate scheduling overlap.

According to Western Journal, in a critical misalignment, the deadline for Ohio's candidate filings precedes the Democratic National Convention, complicating Biden's nomination process. Specifically, it puts in doubt whether Biden will be able to land on the ballot come November. 

President Biden's re-election campaign grapples with finding a solution after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost declared that the state's election laws could not accommodate a late convention date.

The Ohio filing deadline for presidential candidates is set for August 7, 2024, while Biden is anticipated to receive his party's official nomination on August 22.

Legal Stance and the Implications for the Ballot

Ohio, renowned as a vital battleground state, could play a decisive role in the upcoming election. Dave Yost's position emphasizes adherence strictly to existing state laws, rebuffing any provisional fixes proposed thus far.

One such solution, a provisional letter of nomination, was suggested by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose but was subsequently rejected by Yost. Yost's office elaborated that the law mandates explicit official certification by the August 7 deadline, without allowing any form of provisional certification.

Broader Challenges and National Impact

Dave Yost stated the implications of scheduling conflicts between electoral laws and party conventions. He mentioned, "The ballot deadline is 90 days before the election. The Democrats scheduled their convention to nominate Joe Biden after that deadline, and that creates a problem. They’ve got several months to figure this out. I fully expect them to figure out a way to get their candidate on the ballot. After all, he’s one of the two major candidates. He’s an incumbent president. But, on my watch, they’re going to do it by the law."

The discourse extends beyond Ohio, with similar issues emerging in Alabama. Secretary of State of Alabama, Wes Allen, also sided with strict legal interpretations over provisional nominations. This amplifies concerns regarding whether this could become a broader issue that might affect the ability of Democratic candidates to be placed on ballots in several key states.

With the Democratic National Convention set to commence on August 19, this gives the party a scant window to rectify the situation post-convention before election day on November 5. Ohio's enforcement of its deadline is especially significant, given the state's status as a historically pivotal electoral state.


Despite the political implications, both parties agree on the necessity of legal compliance. Yost's approach emphasizes following the law to the letter, urging the Democratic Party to expediently resolve the timing discrepancy in a manner that aligns with state regulations.

The Democratic Party’s notion of providing a ‘provisional certification’ by the statutory deadline simply is not provided for by law. Instead, the law mandates the Democratic Party to actually certify its president and vice-president candidates on or before August 7, 2024. No alternative process is permitted.

This conundrum places notable pressure on the Democratic Party to either adjust their convention schedule or seek a legal revisal that permits a flexible nomination process compatible with Ohio's electoral timeline. The situation encapsulates a broader dialogue on potential barriers that rigid electoral laws could pose to modern political operations, especially with closely timed events such as national conventions and filing deadlines.

The tangle of legal, political, and logistical challenges underscores the intricate dance between electoral processes and party politics. It remains to be seen how the Democratic Party will maneuver through these complications to ensure that their candidates, including a sitting president, make it onto critical ballots like those in Ohio.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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