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Biden may miss window to appear on Alabama’s presidential ballot, secretary of state says

By Jack Forrest, CNN

(CNN) — Joe Biden may hit another bump on his way to getting on state presidential ballots, with Alabama’s top elections official asserting Tuesday that the president and vice president will miss the deadline to be certified as nominees in the state come November given the timing of the Democratic National Convention.

Wes Allen, Alabama’s Republican secretary of state, sent a letter to Alabama Democrats and the Democratic National Committee saying that state law requires parties to provide a “certificate of nomination for President and Vice President” at least 82 days before the November 5 election, or August 15.

But the Democratic convention — where delegates officially select the party’s nominees for president and vice president — begins on August 19, four days after the deadline.

“If this Office has not received a valid certificate of nomination from the Democratic Party following its convention by the statutory deadline, I will be unable to certify the names of the Democratic Party’s candidates for President and Vice President for ballot preparation for the 2024 general election,” Allen wrote in his letter.

Allen’s notice to the Biden campaign mirrors one from the office of Ohio’s secretary of state last week. Ohio similarly has a certification deadline before the Democratic convention, and the chief legal counsel for the Ohio secretary of state told Democrats that the DNC will either need to move up its nominating convention or the state Legislature would need to create an exemption to Ohio’s requirement.

Asked for a response to the Alabama developments, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign said, “Joe Biden will be on the ballot in all 50 states.”

“State officials have the ability to grant provisional ballot access certification prior to the conclusion of presidential nominating conventions. In 2020 alone, states like Alabama, Illinois, Montana, and Washington all allowed provisional certification for Democratic and Republican nominees,” the campaign official said.

The Alabama’s secretary of state’s office pushed back on that contention, with a spokesperson for the office saying, “Under Alabama law, there are no ‘provisional certifications’ for candidates. All candidates must comply with current Alabama law to gain ballot access.”

In 2020, Alabama’s GOP-controlled Legislature passed a law to “accommodate the dates of the 2020 Republican National Convention,” shifting the state’s certification deadline for parties from 82 days before the election to 75 days that year. The 2020 Republican convention, which nominated President Donald Trump for a second term, was held from August 24-27, and the general election took place on November 3.

CNN’s Ethan Cohen and Samantha Waldenberg contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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