Biden Could Be Left Off Ohio Ballot

Niyazz /
Niyazz /

Are you tired of hearing how Donald Trump may be forced off state ballots come the general election? Well, now the tables have turned. In Ohio, it could be Biden who’s left off the ballot.

Now, before you get too worked up about this, know that Republicans in Ohio are NOT trying to pull the same stunt as Democrats in Colorado, Maine, etc. Instead, the reason Biden may not end up on the ballot in the swing state is no one’s fault but the Democratic Party itself.

You see, the Buckeye State has a strict August 7 deadline to confirm a presidential candidate for their ballot. But the Democratic National Convention isn’t currently scheduled until August 19-22, a full 12 days too late.

As you well know, the actual candidate for any respective party is not set until the party has such a convention, and this year, that means Ohio won’t know who they want to choose as their nominee until too late.

And that means that legally, Ohio cannot put Biden on the ballot unless he’s officially named as the DNC’s nominee.

The oversight was made aware to the Democratic Party by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office on Friday in a letter, according to ABC News. Legal counsel to LaRose’s office wrote that there are really only two options here, well, three options.

Naturally, the first and given option is that nothing is done and Biden remains off the ballot, an unlikely choice for the Democratic Party and Biden campaign.

Other options include that the DNC could move up their already fully planned out convention or that the Ohio General Assembly could enact a new law to make an exception for this year.

But both of these options also have major downsides.

For the DNC, moving up an already planned event and one of this magnitude poses major logistical problems. However, you’d think it would be the most agreeable since it was their mistake that got them here in the first place, and the fact that Biden being on the ballot should be the top priority.

Of course, if they don’t have to, they won’t. Naturally, as of right now, they say they are “monitoring the situation in Ohio” and have confidence that Biden will end up on the ballot.

That leaves the latter option.

But in Ohio, this could be extremely problematic. For starters, new laws must be created a full 90 days before they are to go into effect. This means that anything the Ohio General Assembly comes up with to fix the problem for this year has to be done by May 9, which is fast approaching.

And if that wasn’t a short enough time frame, we also have to consider that this is Ohio, a state that squarely went to Trump both in 2016 and in 2020. The state also has a very heavy Republican majority both in the state Senate and House of Representatives. The governor, Mike DeWine, is also Republican.

Needless to say, the Democrats are going to be hard-pressed to get the deadline moved back in time, at least without some serious concessions.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, this isn’t even the first time this has happened.

In 2020, both parties scheduled their conventions too far out to make Ohio’s ballot. In that case, lawmakers of both sides came together to make a “one-time change to reduce the deadline from 90 days before the election to 60,” says University of Cincinnati political science professor Davide Niven.

Of course, this time, such a change doesn’t benefit both parties.

But Biden is going to need every single vote he can muster up. Currently, polls in pretty much every state show a very slight margin between Trump and Biden.

And getting rid of an entire state, especially one such as Ohio, could ensure a loss.