Now It’s A Problem? Several States Warn That Biden May Not Be on Ballot 

vchal /
vchal /

Democrats, who wholeheartedly supported blocking former President Donald Trump’s name from ballots based on made-up claims of “insurrection,” are finding themselves less than pleased that President Joe Biden may be facing his own ballot challenges.  

For Trump, it was a biased and blatant attempt to remove a challenger from a contest. For Biden, it’s about missing deadlines per state election laws. 

Team Biden’s problems stem from a relatively late Democratic National Convention. Scheduled for August 19, the Democratic nomination process will be held days after the deadline for certification of presidential candidates has passed in at least two states, Alabama and Ohio, or, in the case of Washington state, the day immediately before the pre-determined deadline for filing. 

Washington State’s Director of Elections, Stuart Holmes, has indicated that Biden could still be included on the ballot if the DNC issues a provisional certification for him before August 20, 2024. 

In the Democrat Bizarro world, lawmakers are claiming that these rules, in place for decades, are being used to keep Biden’s name off the ballots unfairly. Alleged “experts” call the situation “unprecedented” and a partisan effort to keep Biden’s name off the ballot. 

This scheduling conflict isn’t novel; late August conventions have arisen repeatedly in past years for both parties. However, states have traditionally avoided excluding major party candidates from their ballots. They achieve this by granting provisional ballot access, as Washington proposes, or by navigating legislative processes to allow certification extensions. 

In Ohio, legal counsel Paul DeSantis suggested that either the DNC move its convention to an earlier date to comply with state election law or that the Ohio General Assembly must work to create an exception to the requirement to ensure Biden appears on the ballot. 

This request for a provisional ballot is also required in Alabama, or Team Biden may face disqualification. In Alabama, presidential nominees must be submitted 82 days before an election to appear on the state’s general federal elections ballot.  

Alabama had previously made a one-time exception to the law ahead of the 2020 election to accommodate the Republican National Convention. It was a move shared by Illinois, Washington, and Montana. 

In Alabama, attorney Barry Ragsdale, representing the Biden campaign, sent a letter to the general counsel for the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, proposing that the DNC provisionally certify Biden and Harris as party nominees by the state’s August 15 deadline. Later, the results could be confirmed at the convention. 

Ragsdale emphasized that this approach avoids potential constitutional issues that might arise if the state’s interpretation of an existing election certification deadline were to exclude President Biden and Vice President Harris from appearing on the Alabama general election ballot. He claimed this proposal would enable many Alabamians who support Biden and Harris to “exercise their fundamental constitutional right to participate meaningfully in the presidential election.” 

However, Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen said he would not allow “provisional certifications” or other exceptions. This leaves Team Biden with little choice but to move ahead and push for a legislative change. Alabaman Senator Merika Coleman, Democrat, has been drafting a bill changing the state’s filing deadline to August 23, a few days after the DNC. 

Failing this, Team Biden will head to court to fight for ballot access. “A court would have little difficulty finding that strict application of the eighty-two- day deadline imposes a severe restriction on President Biden and Vice President Harris’s access to the ballot,” said Team Biden, arguing that the state’s actions are “unjust and unconstitutional.” 

Should that fail, the DNC has an option for a virtual vote to nominate Biden ahead of the deadline. 

It’s already delicious, but it gets even better. Team Biden would be expected to turn to the recent Supreme Court decision in Trump v. Anderson, where a state’s decision to block ballot access for a presidential candidate was ruled unconstitutional. In other words, they think they would win because their attempts to eliminate Trump failed. 

But it’s a little different.  In Trump v. Anderson, state decisions were ideologically based on a flawed interpretation of a little-known clause in the Constitution. They were enacted solely to bar an unpopular candidate from the ballot.  

Conversely, Biden’s challenge is a legal one, not an ideological one. 

There’s no doubt that Biden will overcome these obstacles, but that doesn’t make the entire hypocritical scenario any less satisfying or entertaining for conservatives.