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DNC to virtually nominate Biden and Harris to bypass Ohio ballot issues

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(WASHINGTON) — The Democratic National Committee will move to conduct virtual proceedings to certify President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic Party nominees before Ohio’s Aug. 7 ballot certification deadline, and before their in-person convention beginning Aug. 19, the party confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday.

This could take a significant moment away from Biden and the Democratic party as the official nomination at convention is historically met with fanfare and celebration, but Biden will become the official nominee virtually, perhaps without the typical pomp and circumstance. The campaign said that while there will be a virtual roll call and nomination of Biden and Harris, the DNC will still hold in-person ceremonial events for each process at their convention during the week of Aug. 19 in Chicago.

The move came moments before the Ohio Senate convened on Tuesday for a special session to address Biden’s ability to appear on the state’s general election ballot in November — which the GOP-led legislature has tied up with an effort related to campaign finance, something Democrats oppose. The bill passed in the Ohio Senate on Tuesday without any Democratic support.

DNC Chair Jamie Harrison said that Democrats will themselves address the conflict and “land this plane on our own.”

“Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio and all 50 states, and Ohio Republicans agree. But when the time has come for action, they have failed to act every time, so Democrats will land this plane on our own,” he said in a statement provided to ABC News.

“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,” Harrison added.

Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine still urges a legislative remedy to the ballot access concerns.

“While I understand the Democratic National Committee has just today proposed a work-around to help get President Biden on the Ohio ballot, it is prudent legislation be passed to get this done. As I previously said, we do not want to leave something so basic as having the sitting President of the United States on the ballot to others when this can-and should-be done legislatively. It’s the right thing to do,” DeWine said in a statement.

“For these reasons, it is important that a bill or multiple bills that accomplish these common-sense measures come to my desk right away this week. It’s the right thing to do,” DeWine added.

Ohio Democratic Chair Liz Walters said that the party would not “trade Ohioans’ ability to hold their government accountable for presidential ballot access.”

“Once again, Republican politicians at the statehouse are playing politics with our democracy,” she said in a statement. “Just like when they attempted to take away our rights and freedoms last year, Ohio Republicans have shown their blatant disregard for the rights of voters, and we won’t let them get away with another effort to hold our democracy hostage.”

Neither the party nor the Biden campaign have confirmed a date when this virtual nomination could happen, but it will definitely be before the Aug. 7 Ohio ballot certification deadline.

To conduct the virtual roll call, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will need to vote on Tuesday, June 4, on a resolution to propose changes to the call to allow for virtual party proceedings. Then, in the coming weeks, the resolution will be voted on by the full DNC membership. Once the resolution is adopted, the remainder of the pre-nomination process will follow the standard order of operations.

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