Republican election chiefs, politicians, control Biden's Ohio and Alabama ballot access (Part-1).

Columbus— Democratic President Joe Biden's reelection campaign is negotiating with Republican-dominated state governments in Ohio and Alabama to get him on their fall ballots as the nation's turbulent politics overshadow procedural deliberations.  

Two states with 26 electoral votes have deadlines for appearing on the ballot before the Democratic National Convention in Chicago from Aug. 19 to 22. Biden's lawyers have requested their secretaries of state to accept temporary certifications before the cutoff, which will be updated once Biden is nominated.  

that Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen will not accept a provisional certification because he lacks legal authority. Allen wrote the Alabama Democratic Party a “heads up” about the date issue so they could fix it. "No one is denied. Allen stated he was explaining the law. I took an oath to uphold Alabama law, so I will.”  

Randy Kelley, Alabama's Democratic Party chair, accused Allen of “partisan gamesmanship,” noting that Alabama has accommodated late Republican conventions. Last week, Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose wrote the Ohio Democratic Party an identical letter. The letter proposed the party postpone its convention or acquire a legislative fix by May 9 to get Biden on the Nov. 5 ballot.  

Using a rarely used clause of the 14th Amendment prohibiting those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office, a legal campaign last year sought to remove former President Donald Trump from state ballots. After Democratic-dominated states like Colorado and Maine did so, Republicans threatened to exclude Biden from red state ballots if the Supreme Court didn't reverse.  

Last month, the high court ruled that states can't prohibit national office candidates under the constitution. Alabama and Ohio proceeded despite technical issues between Biden's candidacy and their ballot deadlines.  

Biden's team claims Alabama has accepted provisional certification before, including in 2020 when Republicans faced the same dilemma. Trump received provisional certification and the state passed legislation with a one-time deadline change that year. Democratic lawyers say provisional certification, not legislation, put Trump on the ballot.  

However, John Merrill, Allen's Republican predecessor as secretary of state, said Alabama helped Trump and “absolutely the state should do the same” for Biden. Everyone deserves a chance to vote for major party nominees. That's why the state must do whatever it takes to represent everyone, he said.  

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