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If Biden Drops Out, How Long Do Democrats Have to Pick a Nominee?

If Biden Drops Out, How Long Do Democrats Have to Pick a Nominee?

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Editors Note: An earlier version of this article misstated Ohio’s deadline for a candidate to be certified. Ohio legislators passed a bill extending the deadline, and it is no longer before the Democratic convention.

If President Biden were to decide to end his re-election campaign, the Democratic Party would technically have until its convention the week of Aug. 19 to nominate a different standard-bearer. But for practical purposes, the deadline may be earlier.

That is because Ohio previously required candidates to be legally certified by Aug. 7 in order to be included on the state’s ballot. In response to that, the Democratic National Committee said it would take a virtual roll-call vote before the convention in order to meet the deadline, though the exact date for that vote has not been set.

The early roll call is no longer necessary, because Ohio legislators ended up passing a bill — and the governor signed it — to extend the deadline past the convention. But the D.N.C. has indicated that it plans to hold it anyway. It has not announced when.

Earlier this year, there was concern that a similar problem might arise in Alabama. But legislators there also ended up passing a bill that postponed the state’s deadline to accommodate the timing of the Democratic convention.

If Democrats nominate Mr. Biden in the virtual roll-call vote and then change course later, things would get more complicated.

In the event that a ticket of Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were certified to appear on ballots and Mr. Biden later withdrew, it isn’t clear whether Ms. Harris would be able to receive votes for president by virtue of already being on the ballot in the vice-presidential spot.

The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, has indicated that it might pursue legal challenges to a substitution.



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