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DNC plans to virtually nominate Biden ahead of convention amid Ohio ballot concerns

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is planning to virtually nominate President Biden ahead of the party’s convention after the Ohio state Legislature deadlocked on a fix last week to get the president on the ballot in November.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison announced Democrats would be holding a virtual roll call to ensure Biden gets on the ballot in all 50 states — an announcement made on the same day Ohio state lawmakers returned to the Capitol for a special session to solve Biden’s ballot access issue. 

“Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio and all 50 states, and Ohio Republicans agree. But when the time has come for action, they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will land this plane on our own,” Harrison said in a statement.

“Through a virtual roll call, we will ensure that Republicans can’t chip away at our democracy through incompetence or partisan tricks and that Ohioans can exercise their right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice,” he added.

Democrats were notified earlier this year that the timing of their convention didn’t meet a state deadline to certify the party’s presidential nominee. Democrats needed to certify Biden by Aug. 7 in order to make the Ohio ballot, but the Democratic National Convention kicks off beginning Aug. 19.

Ohio legislators struggled to reach a legislative fix; Senate Republicans passed a bill that would allow a one-time fix that would move the certification deadline back so Democrats could make it. But it was also paired with a provision that would ban foreign contributions in ballot initiatives, which Democrats rejected.

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The state House had worked on a more permanent solution that would change the certification deadline, but ultimately neither of those bills was officially voted on in the lower chamber.  

Liz Walters, chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, accused Republicans of “playing politics with our democracy” in a statement Tuesday.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) ordered lawmakers last week to return to the Capitol this week to find a solution to get Biden on the ballot, expressing support for a solution similar to what the Senate proposed, which included the foreign contribution provision. 

That raised questions around how Democrats in the state would proceed, given their opposition to the state Senate’s proposal. The DNC’s solution offers Biden an avenue onto the ballot while avoiding an expensive lawsuit.

Source: The Hill

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