To Be Sure Biden's on Ballot, DeWine Calls Special Session

'This is ridiculous,' Ohio's Republican governor says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2024 7:10 PM CDT
To Be Sure Biden's on Ballot, DeWine Calls Special Session
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks Thursday in Columbus.   (AP Photo/Patrick Orsagos)

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said Thursday that he is calling a rare special session of the General Assembly next week to pass legislation ensuring that President Biden is on the state's 2024 ballot. The special session was called for Tuesday, the AP reports. "Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting president of the United States, on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is simply unacceptable. This is ridiculous. This is (an) absurd situation," DeWine said.

The question of whether Biden will appear on the ballot has become entangled in a partisan legislative fight to keep foreign money out of state ballot campaigns, a year after cash tied to a Swiss billionaire boosted a successful effort to enshrine abortion rights in the solidly Republican state's constitution. The Democratic National Convention, where Biden is to be formally nominated, falls after Ohio's ballot deadline of Aug. 7. The convention will be held Aug. 19-22 in Chicago. Since Ohio changed its certification deadline from 60 to 90 days ahead of the general election, state lawmakers have had to adjust the requirement twice, in 2012 and 2020, to accommodate candidates of both parties. Each change was only temporary.

This year, lawmakers were unable to come up with a fix by the May 9 cutoff set by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. "I've waited. I've been patient. And my patience has run out," DeWine said. The governor said his proclamation will allow for passing a Senate version of the bill that also bars foreign nationals from contributing to Ohio ballot measures, per the AP. House Democratic leader Allison Russo said via the social platform X that money from foreign donors is already illegal and that the real issue is dark money going to candidates.

(More Ohio stories.)

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