Ohio Lawmakers Divided over Push to include Biden on November Ballot

Ohio Lawmakers Divided over push to include Biden on November Ballot

Ohio lawmakers failed to move forward with a plan on Wednesday to put Vice President Joe Biden on the state’s November ballot. This showed how deeply divided Republicans are in the state Legislature.

This week, both the House and the Senate of the state put forward separate plans to move the date for certification to 74 days before the Nov. 5 election. By law, state officials have to confirm the ballots by August 7—90 days ahead of time. However, Biden won’t be nominated until the Democratic National Convention, which is 12 days after that.

As of Wednesday night, there was still no plan to put the president and the likely Democratic candidate on the ballot in Ohio. And time is running out: Frank LaRose, the secretary of state for Ohio, said that lawmakers had until Thursday to change the date. Most bills become law after 90 days, unless they have an emergency measure as part of them.

GOP Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Biden will be on the ballot no matter how he gets there (through the legislature or the judges).

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Allison Russo, the minority leader in the House, said that a legislative answer doesn’t look likely right now. However, she stressed that Democrats still have other choices, such as suing.

On Tuesday, leaders of both parties in the House put forward a plan to put Biden on the ticket and avoid future scheduling problems. Parties that missed the 90-day deadline after 2028 would be able to approve candidates either 74 days before the election or three days after their convention, whichever comes first.

But Republicans in the Senate chose a different path, which Democrats saw as poison and wouldn’t back. They added a one-time deadline fix to a bill that would stop foreigners and people with green cards living in the U.S. from giving money to political campaigns. Not being a citizen of the United States already makes it illegal to give money to politicians.

The Senate passed the bill in February, and Democrats say it will make it harder for groups to get topics on the ballot. For example, ballot campaigns would have to register as political action committees, which some critics say could make it harder for hyperlocal efforts like liquor choices.

A progressive dark money group spent millions of dollars to support Ohio’s 2023 abortion rights amendment and independent redistricting committee. This is why Republicans came up with the bill.

The state Senate passed its bill before the House members got together, so they had two choices: they could either pass their own plan, which was already on the agenda, or they could agree with the Senate’s plan. They didn’t do either.

That was even before the Senate vote. Republicans were against the House bill because it didn’t help them politically in any way. Rep. Brian Stewart said that Republicans in the House were ready to support the Senate bill and said that Speaker Jason Stephens was pulling the rug out from under them.

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