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Biden could be left off Ohio ballot in November, state election office says

Poll: Trump holds lead in 6 of 7 swing states
Trump leads Biden in 6 of 7 swing states, new poll shows 08:04

President Joe Biden could be left off the ballot in Ohio in November, unless the GOP-led state legislature makes an exception to Ohio's ballot deadline or the Democratic Party moves up its nominating convention, according to the Ohio secretary of state's office.

Ohio set a deadline of Aug. 7 to certify presidential candidates for the general election, almost two weeks before the Democratic National Convention, where Mr. Biden is expected to be formally nominated by his party to run against presumptive GOP nominee former President Donald Trump. It is unlikely that the party would shift the date of the convention.

In a letter to state Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters last week, Paul DiSantis, the chief legal counsel for GOP Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, said Ohio law requires that presidential candidates be certified 90 days before this year's general election, which takes place on Nov. 5.

"The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to convene on August 19, 2024, which occurs more than a week after the August 7 deadline to certify a presidential candidate to this office," DiSantis wrote. "Therefore, pending further clarification, I am left to conclude that the Democratic National Committee must either move up its nominating convention or the Ohio General Assembly must act by May 9, 2024 (90 days prior to a new law's effective date) to create an exception to this statutory requirement."

"Please contact me as soon as possible with any information that can assure this office of timely compliance with Ohio law," DiSantis wrote.

The Biden campaign said over the weekend that it does not expect the statute to keep the president off the ballot.

"We're monitoring the situation in Ohio, and we're confident that Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states," the campaign said in a statement.

A similar situation occurred before the 2020 presidential election, too. Both the Republican and Democratic conventions were scheduled outside the deadline window, so Ohio lawmakers approved changing the cutoff to 60 days — but only for that election.

The Ohio Democratic Party confirmed it has received the letter and is reviewing it.

Trump won Ohio in 2016 and also in 2020, when he lost to Mr. Biden, becoming the first losing presidential candidate Ohio had supported since it sided with Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960.

Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.

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