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Democrats move up Joe Biden’s nomination to secure Ohio ballot

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Biden and Harris at the White House (Adam Schultz)

The Democratic National Committee will certify Joe Biden’s presidential nomination through a virtual roll call to secure his place on the ballot in Ohio, where state law conflicts with the date of the party’s customary convention.

Ohio law requires political parties to certify their presidential candidate at least 90 days before the general election, which puts the deadline on August 7, nearly two weeks before the Democratic convention in Chicago on August 19.

“Through a virtual roll call, we will ensure that Republicans can’t chip away at our democracy through incompetence or partisan tricks and that Ohioans can exercise their right to vote for the presidential candidate of their choice,” DNC Chair Jamie Harrison said in a statement.

Tuesday’s announcement to hold a virtual roll call came as Ohio Republicans passed a Senate bill which would extend the deadline while also barring foreign contributions to ballot issue campaigns, which Democrats did not support.

“We don’t need your fix … We don’t want a legislative fix that holds the voters and their rights to the whim of the majority,” Ohio State Senator Bill DeMora said during Tuesday’s meeting to pass the Republican bill, which now goes to the Republican-controlled state House.

While the Democratic primary is technically still underway, Biden has already won enough delegates to win the party’s nomination, with Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate. The last primary is scheduled for Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands on June 8.

A date for the virtual roll call has not yet been announced. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will first have to meet on June 4 to formally approve virtual proceedings. The in-person convention in Chicago will continue as planned, even though Biden will already be confirmed as the party’s nominee.

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