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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has called a special session of the state’s legislature to address a timing issue that could prevent President Joe Biden from appearing on Ohio’s general election ballot. The issue stems from the fact that the Democratic National Convention, where Biden will be renominated, is scheduled to take place after the state’s deadline for parties to submit candidates for the ballot. DeWine criticized the legislature for failing to address the issue, stating that it is important for Ohioans to have the opportunity to vote for major party candidates in the upcoming election.

The special session will not only address the certification deadline issue but also potentially address a bill to prevent foreign spending on Ohio ballot measures, a measure that Democrats oppose. In Alabama, a similar situation was resolved when state officials enacted legislation to push out the certification deadline, giving Democrats the time needed to submit Biden’s name for the ballot. However, the path forward in Ohio has been less clear, with state officials stating that they will not accept provisional certification. Ohio, a swing state in presidential elections, has recently leaned significantly to the right, with President Donald Trump carrying the state in both 2016 and 2020.

In recent years, certification timeline issues have been quietly resolved in various states by enacting legislation to extend deadlines or accepting provisional certifications from political parties. However, Ohio’s strict requirement for parties to submit nominee names 90 days before the general election has made the situation more complex. DeWine emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that time is running out to get Biden on the ballot and calling the current situation “ridiculous” and “absurd.” With Ohio being a crucial state in presidential elections, it is vital that the issue is resolved to ensure that voters have the opportunity to cast their votes for major party candidates.

DeWine noted that while Republicans had previously addressed similar issues in 2012 and 2020, the failure to act now was unacceptable. The special session called by DeWine will provide an opportunity for the legislature to rectify the situation and ensure that Biden’s name appears on the ballot. However, the issue has been further complicated by the opposition from Democrats to a bill regarding foreign spending on Ohio ballot measures. With Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown facing a tough reelection campaign this year, the stakes are high for both parties to resolve the issue and ensure that the upcoming election is conducted fairly and efficiently.

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