Republican Election Official Warns Biden Could Be Kept Off Ohio Ballot

In a column last week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) criticized “cravenly partisan” officials who sought to keep former President Donald Trump off their state ballots for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

On Friday, LaRose warned Democrats that President Joe Biden may not qualify for Ohio’s general election ballot because the Democratic National Convention is scheduled too late.

LaRose pointed to a state statute requiring the Ohio secretary of state to certify candidates nominated by the national convention “on or before the ninetieth day before the day of the general election,” meaning Aug. 7. The DNC is set to start on Aug. 19.

When Biden defeated Trump in 2020, Republicans held their party nominating convention in late August.

Nonetheless, LaRose brought this “apparent conflict” to the attention of the Ohio Democratic Party in a letter on Friday, as ABC News first reported.

“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,” the letter reads, according to ABC News.

The letter was also sent to Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio and House Minority Leader Allison Russo, both Democrats.

The Biden-Harris campaign tells Rolling Stone, “We’re monitoring the situation in Ohio and we’re confident that Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states.”

The warning that Biden may not qualify for the Ohio general election ballot comes after several states, including Colorado, Maine, and Illinois, initially disqualified Trump from their primary ballots on the grounds that he had engaged in insurrection by inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot, and thus cannot hold office under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Late last year, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump did not qualify for the state’s 2024 primary ballot, citing the 14th Amendment, but the decision was unanimously overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court this year.

On March 30, LaRose published an opinion piece warning that the Supreme Court’s decision did not go far enough, because it still allows secretaries of state to block state candidates for office from their ballots.

“Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court put its foot down on these cravenly partisan abuses of authority, but the matter remains unresolved as it relates to non-federal candidates,” he wrote, adding: “I believe most of my fellow chief election officers exercise great discretion in performing our duties under the law, but that doesn’t mean the law will never be abused.”

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