Gov. Mike DeWine calls for special session to get Joe Biden on Ohio ballot

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, announced Thursday he will convene the Republican-controlled state Legislature in special session next week to discuss whether to put both President Biden and former President Trump on the state’s fall ballot.

Democrats have been unable to certify Biden as their candidate in the state, largely due to procedural issues as both parties need to certify their presidential nominee before the state’s deadline, but the Democratic National Convention takes place after Ohio’s certification deadline.

In this case, presidential candidates must be certified 90 days before the election, but party conventions are held after that deadline.

Typically one solution would be a legislative fix, such as adjusting certification deadlines, but the state House and Senate stalled this month on passing a bill that would help create the fix to get Biden on the ballot.

DeWine It said in a statement He said lawmakers will convene on Tuesday to address the issue.

“Ohioans are running out of time to elect a sitting President of the United States in this fall’s election, and it is unacceptable that we cannot do so,” said Governor DeWine.

“The purpose of the session is for the state legislature to pass legislation to ensure that presidential candidates from both major parties can run in Ohio in November and to ban foreigners from making campaign contributions,” he explained.

Ohio Republicans have taken various steps to get Biden on the ballot, including including a temporary measure in an existing child care campaign fund bill that would change the deadline Democrats have to certify their nominee from 90 days to 74 days to coincide with the Democratic convention.

But the bill also included a provision banning foreign nationals from funding campaign efforts, drawing opposition from Democrats who believe they are upset that Republicans blocked a special election in August that rejected a ballot measure at the heart of the abortion rights fight, then passed an abortion rights measure in November.

Republicans have previously targeted Swiss donor Hansjörg Wyss for his contributions to groups that ultimately backed Democrats in both elections.

Republicans in the state legislature had instead been pushing a cleaner bill that would permanently change the certification deadline from 90 days to 74 days after the election.

State Senate Republicans passed the solution, but House Republicans did not hold a vote. The House informally passed the bill, but lawmakers were unable to move forward with it immediately after.

Both parties have stressed that Biden will appear on the ballot in November’s presidential election, but the path forward remains unclear, with Democrats considering possible convention lawsuits or other workarounds.

DeWine’s announcement suggests neither option should be on the table, but his push to pass the Senate bill is likely to anger Democrats. The move was applauded by the Senate Republican caucus.

“We stand with the Governor: It’s time to protect Ohio’s elections by outlawing foreign campaign finance while also righting the mistake Democrats made by barring Joe Biden from November’s election. We urge the Speaker and Minority Leader to allow a vote on House Bill 114, which would accomplish both,” John Fortney, a spokesman for state Senate President Matt Huffman (R), said in a statement.

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