GOP Governor Mike DeWine Calls for Special Session to Add Biden to Ballot

 May 24, 2024

There has been considerable drama over the last few weeks regarding Joe Biden's inclusion on the Ohio election ballot.

It appeared that a legislative solution to the problem had been abandoned, but Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, has stepped in to ensure Biden's inclusion.

Talking Points…
- Solution off the table
- DeWine steps in
- Analysis

No Legislative Solution for Biden on Ballot

The brainiac that scheduled the Democrat National Convention forgot to check the deadline dates for a candidate to be certified in Ohio. State election laws require certification 90 days before the election, which means Ohio’s deadline was August 7, but the convention was not scheduled until August 19. That being the case, Biden would be disqualified from the ballot.

The GOP legislature is controlled by Republicans, and the Senate had already passed legislation that would temporarily move that deadline back to accommodate Democrats, but the House had already recessed, meaning that a legislative solution was no longer on the table. Secretary of State Frank LaRose explained:

“Today, the Speaker of the Ohio House told members of the media there would not be a legislative solution,” adding he was “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.”

At this point, the only way this could be fixed for Biden would be for the governor to call for a special session or for Democrats to change their convention dates.

Governor DeWine Calls for Special Session

Taking emotions out of the equation and the revenge factor for Trump, and considering accommodations had been made in the past when conventions were scheduled after the deadline, including for Donald Trump, this would not have been a good look for Republicans. I think most would agree that the last thing we want is to give Democrats and fuel to add to the fire if Biden loses.

So, Governor DeWine announced on Thursday that he would be calling for a special session specifically to vote on this legislation to add Biden to the ballot. He stated:

“Ohio is running out of time to get the sitting president of the United States on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is unacceptable.

“The purpose of the session will be for the General Assembly to pass legislation ensuring that both major party presidential candidates will be on the Ohio ballot in November, as well as legislation that would prohibit campaign spending by foreign nationals.”

There should not be any resistance from House Republicans on this front, as they were trying to pass legislation that would address this, but their legislative solution was different from what the Senate wanted to do. John Fortney, a spokesperson for state Senate President Matt Huffman confirmed this, stating:

“We agree with the Governor. It is time to protect Ohio’s elections by outlawing foreign campaign contributions, while at the same time fixing the Democratic Party’s error that kept Joe Biden off the November ballot. We encourage the Speaker and Minority Leader to allow a vote on House Bill 114 which does both.”


Not that polling is even relevant to this discussion, but Donald Trump is going to win Ohio with or without Biden on the ballot. The point is that it would be ridiculous for the GOP to make a stand here and give Democrats the fodder they need to undermine a Trump win in the general election. Having said this, this entire mess could have been avoided if Democrats had simply followed the rules as they are laid out among the different states. But as I noted above, the GOP has done this in the past as well, so some heads clearly need to roll among the event organizers for both parties when this happens.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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