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Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen has stated that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will miss the deadline to be certified as nominees for the presidential election in Alabama due to the timing of the Democratic National Convention. State law in Alabama requires parties to provide a certificate of nomination for President and Vice President at least 82 days before the November 5 election, which falls on August 15. However, the Democratic convention begins on August 19, four days after the deadline, making it impossible to meet the certification requirements in the state.

This issue is not unique to Alabama, as Ohio also faces a similar situation with a certification deadline before the Democratic convention. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office informed Democrats that the convention would need to be moved up or an exemption created by the state Legislature to meet the certification requirements. Both states are struggling to accommodate the timing of the convention with their election laws, potentially leading to Biden and Harris not being certified in time for the ballot in these states.

In response to the Alabama developments, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign stated that Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states. The campaign argues that state officials have the ability to grant provisional ballot access certification before the conclusion of the nominating conventions. However, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office refuted this claim, stating that all candidates must comply with current Alabama law to gain ballot access, with no provision for provisional certifications.

In 2020, Alabama’s Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law to adjust the certification deadline for parties to accommodate the dates of the Republican National Convention. This change shifted the state’s deadline from 82 days before the election to 75 days that year, allowing for more flexibility in meeting the requirements. The issue of certification deadlines and the timing of nominating conventions remains a challenge for states like Alabama, Ohio, and others, as they navigate the complex process of ensuring that candidates are eligible for the ballot in accordance with state laws.

Overall, the situation highlights the complexities of the election process and the challenges that arise when conflicting deadlines intersect with national political events. The need to balance state election laws with the national nominating process creates hurdles for candidates and party officials, requiring coordination and cooperation to ensure that candidates are properly certified for the ballot. As the election season progresses, these issues may continue to arise in different states, underscoring the importance of compliance with state election laws and the need for flexibility in adapting to changing circumstances.

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