Ohio Governor Calls Special Session To Ensure Biden's Ballot Inclusion

 May 24, 2024

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has called a special session of the Ohio General Assembly to ensure President Joe Biden is on the state's 2024 ballot.

The urgency stems from a deadline conflict with the Democratic National Convention and the state legislature's failure to address the issue. Ohio’s deadline to certify a candidate’s name on the ballot is 90 days before the general election, which falls on August 7 this year.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, DeWine announced that the special session will take place next Tuesday. The main purpose of this session is to pass legislation that will ensure President Joe Biden is on Ohio’s 2024 ballot.

Addressing the Urgency of the Deadline Conflict

The Democratic National Convention, where Biden will be nominated, is scheduled for August 19-22. This timing conflicts with Ohio’s certification deadline. Ohio’s Senate had previously passed a bill that would allow certification 74 days before the election, but the House adjourned before taking up the bill.

Lawmakers had until May 9 to resolve this issue. However, Secretary of State Frank LaRose has now set next Wednesday as the absolute deadline. The legislative failure is intertwined with a broader partisan battle over keeping foreign money out of state ballot campaigns.

This conflict follows a successful effort, funded by foreign money, to enshrine abortion rights in Ohio’s constitution last year. DeWine has also mentioned that during the special session, lawmakers can pass a bill banning foreign nationals from contributing to Ohio ballot measures.

Urgent Legislative Action Needed to Resolve Issues

Gov. DeWine expressed his frustration over the situation, emphasizing the need for immediate action. Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting President of the United States, on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is simply unacceptable. This is ridiculous. This is (an) absurd situation. - Gov. Mike DeWine

The call for a special session reflects the high stakes involved. Ensuring that a sitting president's name appears on the ballot is critical to maintaining electoral integrity and public confidence in the democratic process.

The Ohio Senate had addressed part of the issue by passing a bill allowing for a shorter certification period, but this effort stalled in the House. The delay has created significant pressure on lawmakers to find a swift resolution before the impending deadline.

Broader Implications of Legislative Inaction

The legislative failure to address the ballot certification issue is symptomatic of deeper partisan conflicts. These conflicts have been exacerbated by efforts to regulate foreign influence in state ballot campaigns. The controversy over foreign money became particularly heated following last year's successful campaign to amend Ohio’s constitution regarding abortion rights.

Gov. DeWine’s call for a special session aims to ensure President Biden's presence on the ballot and address the broader issue of foreign contributions. This dual focus highlights the interconnected nature of electoral integrity and campaign finance reform.

A spokesman for Senate President Matt Huffman echoed DeWine’s sentiments, emphasizing the need for legislative action:

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.


The upcoming special session of the Ohio General Assembly, called by Gov. Mike DeWine, underscores the urgency of ensuring President Joe Biden's name appears on the state's 2024 ballot. This issue, stemming from a deadline conflict with the Democratic National Convention, has highlighted significant partisan divisions and the broader concern of foreign influence in state elections. With Secretary of State Frank LaRose setting an absolute deadline for resolution, Ohio lawmakers face intense pressure to act swiftly. The special session also provides an opportunity to address foreign contributions to state ballot measures, reflecting a broader commitment to electoral integrity.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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