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Republican leader says Biden will be on Ohio ballot, but that lawmakers won't make it happen

President Joe Biden addresses crowd at Intel groundbreaking ceremony in Licking County on September 9, 2022.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
President Joe Biden addresses crowd at Intel groundbreaking ceremony in Licking County on September 9, 2022.

There won’t be legislation that will change the 90-day deadline for Democrats to certify President Biden for Ohio's fall’s ballot, according to the Republican House Speaker. But he’s said he's still confident Biden will be a choice for Ohio voters in November.

House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) said there isn’t the will among supermajority Republicans to move back the Aug. 7 deadline to ensure Biden is on the ballot.

“It's a hyper political environment at this at this time of year," Stephens said. "There are some Republicans who just did not want to vote on it and there were some who were.”

House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) said she was always skeptical of a legislative fix.

"We've seen the dysfunction here in this place, and I think we've seen that folks have not been able to put aside partisanship and hyper partisanship and infighting," Russo said.

As for a solution to the issue, Russo said: “I think at this point, you're probably going to see either some sort of intra-party fix or perhaps court action.”

Ohio and Washington are the only two states where the presidential ballot deadline is before the Democratic convention, set for Aug. 19-22. Alabama also had a deadline before the convention, but lawmakers in that Republican-dominated state unanimously passed a legislative fix earlier this month.

Two weeks ago Senate Republicans passed a bill that would change Ohio's presidential certification deadline, but it also included language banning foreign contributions to ballot issue campaigns in Ohio.

Senate Democrats voted against it, saying it would make it harder for those campaigns to raise money. Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) said it was "a 'sore loser bill' because they lost a couple of times at the ballot this past year." Republicans had backed a 60% voter approval threshold for constitutional amendments last August and opposed a reproductive rights amendment in November. Voters rejected the August issue and approved the November issue.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.