Democrats Plan Virtual Nomination for Biden and Harris to Meet Ohio Deadline

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is planning to nominate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic Party candidates through a virtual process. This will be done before Ohio’s deadline on August 7, and before the in-person convention in Chicago this summer. Ohio law requires parties to certify their presidential candidates at least 90 days before Election Day. The DNC’s convention is scheduled for August 19, just 75 days before the election, so they need to act earlier.

Ohio Republicans, who control the state legislature, have been reluctant to pass a bill that would relax the deadline for Biden unless Democrats agree to other campaign finance changes. As a result, the DNC has decided to go ahead with a virtual nomination to ensure Biden appears on the ballot in Ohio and all 50 states.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said, “Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio and all 50 states, and Ohio Republicans agree. But they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will ensure this happens through a virtual roll call.”

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters accused state Republicans of “playing politics with our democracy.” She said Democrats will not let Republicans prevent Ohio voters from choosing who they want to be president.

To conduct the virtual roll call, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will vote on June 4 to propose changes allowing virtual party proceedings. The full DNC membership will vote on this in the coming weeks. Once adopted, the rest of the nomination process will follow the usual procedures.

Justin Levitt, a law professor, said it’s unimaginable for a major party candidate to be kept off the ballot without a legitimate reason. He added that this situation is bound to fail, and both candidates will be on the ballot.

Biden’s issue arises from Ohio’s 90-day certification requirement, while the Democratic Party’s convention is scheduled for 75 days before the election. Four years ago, due to the coronavirus pandemic, both Democrats and Republicans used a mix of virtual and in-person elements for their convention nomination roll calls.

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