Will Biden be on the Ohio ballot? Election official still concerned about deadline issue

State legislators have in the past enacted exemptions.

The legal counsel of Ohio’s top elections official, a Republican sent a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office on Monday, signaling the office’s refusal to accept a workaround proposed by the Democratic National Committee in order for the secretary’s office’s certification that President Joe Biden will be on the November general election ballot. This is due to a dispute with the Democratic National Committee regarding convention scheduling and the confirmation of Biden as the official nominee.

The attorney for Secretary of State Frank LaRose has thrown cold water on the new proposal from a Democratic lawyer that would provisionally certify Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris – that is to formally inform the state who they expect to be their nominee before the party convention in August so that both candidates could be on Ohio’s ballot by the state’s deadline to certify ballots on Aug. 7.

LaRose’s attorney requested that the Ohio Democratic Party provide clarification on how they plan to comply with state laws. In his first letter, he suggested that the Ohio Democratic Party could move up its convention date or seek a legislative solution like an exemption.

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According to a letter that Donald McTigue sent to the Ohio Secretary of State last week, the Democratic Party appears to have been working with him, though the Biden Campaign has declined to confirm this. The letter stated that Democrats would be able to provisionally certify Biden by August 7 and then confirm the results informally at the convention.

ABC News obtained the letter from LaRose Chief Legal Counsel Paul Disantis on Monday. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said that the law does not allow for a “provisional certificate” to be provided by the deadline.

Disantis said that he also saw some ambiguity within McTigue’s proposals.

Disantis wrote: “You use ‘we’ as a personal pronoun throughout the document. However, I’m not sure on whose behalf your communicating.”

ABC News has not received a response from McTigue nor his office.

LaRose’s office alerted Ohio and the DNC of an “apparent conflict in Ohio law”, between the national party’s nomination process and the deadline for certifying their presidential choice to the secretary-of-state’s office.

Alabama and Washington raised similar concerns later. In Ohio and other states, lawmakers have previously granted exemptions in cases where national parties held conventions after deadlines but the candidates appeared on the ballot.

The Biden campaign said that their first line defense against these calendar issues is the provisional certifications of Biden, Harris and others.

Biden’s campaign responded to LaRose’s letter Monday with the same message they have been delivering since the conflicts began earlier in the month.

Joe Biden’s name will appear on ballots in all 50 US states. State officials can grant provisional ballot certification before the conclusion of the presidential nominating conventions. A Biden campaign spokesperson stated that in 2020, only states such as Alabama, Illinois Montana and Washington allowed provisional certification of Democratic and Republican candidates.

In a similar way to Ohio’s secretary of state Wes Allen (also a Republican), quashed any idea that he might provide “for ‘provisional certifications’ or other exceptions” after an attorney for the Biden campaign wrote stating the DNC would be able to do this by the deadline set in the state on August 15 and confirm the results later at the convention.

Steve Hobbs, the Democratic Secretary in Washington, has said that his office will extend their deadlines to allow for the DNC to submit a provisional certificate for Biden and Harris.

Biden officials said that if provisional ballot certification is not possible in places where there is uncertainty about the president’s ballot access, their strategy will shift to state legislatures where they will push for extensions like in the previous.

The Ohio legislature has taken similar action in the past, passing laws ahead of the 2012 and 2020 elections. This was done to avoid the 90-day nomination deadline.

Legal counsel for LaRose, in Ohio, suggested that legislative action be taken by May 9, as a deadline.

The willingness of the GOP majority to work with Democrats is not clear.

Matt Huffman of the Ohio Senate, a Republican said on a podcast that the issue is a “Democratic Problem” but that, if there’s a solution proposed, he would be “all ears.”