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Biden could miss the deadline for the November ballot in Ohio, the state’s election office says

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — President Joe Biden could be left off the ballot in Ohio this fall unless the state’s Republican-dominated legislature creates an exception to the ballot deadline or the Democratic Party moves up its convention, according to the office that oversees the state’s elections.

Ohio’s deadline to certify presidential candidates for the general election is Aug. 7, nearly two weeks before the Democratic National Convention, at which Biden is expected to be nominated to run against Republican challenger Donald Trump.

Ohio law requires that presidential candidates be certified 90 days before the general election, which is on Nov. 5 this year, said a letter written last week by Paul DiSantis, chief legal counsel for Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

“Please contact me as soon as possible with any information that can assure this office of timely compliance with Ohio law,” the letter said.

The Biden campaign said Monday that it does not expect the snag to keep the president off the ballot.

“We’re monitoring the situation in Ohio, and we’re confident that Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states,” the campaign said in a statement.

A similar situation came up before the 2020 presidential election. In that case, both the Republican and Democratic conventions were scheduled outside the deadline window so Ohio lawmakers approved changing the cutoff to 60 days — but only for that election.

The letter sent to Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters said that the legislature would need to act by May 9 to create an exception to the 90-day deadline or that Democrats would need to move up their convention, which would seem unlikely.

Messages seeking comment were left with Walters and the state party on Monday.

Trump won Ohio in 2016 on his way to the White House and won it again in 2020, when he lost to Biden, becoming the first losing presidential candidate Ohio had supported since it sided with Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960.

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Levy reported from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.