Stop the games, fix the problem

If Ohio lawmakers aimed to once again embarrass the state on the national stage and to prove the dangers of intentionally failing to address gerrymandering, mission accomplished. Let the back-slapping begin.

In what can only be described as either a fit of petulance or an admission they do not believe their presumptive presidential nominee, former President Donald Trump, can win without a few dirty tricks, state senators and representatives derailed what should have been a simple fix to get Joe Biden on the November ballot.

Recall, state law requires presidential candidates to be certified for placement on the ballot 90 days before the November election, but the Democratic National Convention falls 12 days after that deadline. This has happened before, and Ohio lawmakers have always been willing to implement a quick exception to make the timing work.

Now they’re doing their best to make a mess of the process. Rather than make the exception a standalone vote, lawmakers are playing games by adding poison pills to the legislation and trying to run out the clock.

“The Democrats are a superminority anyways … they don’t really have a voice. So this — this is a Republican Party issue,” David Cohen, a political science professor at The University of Akron, told The Hill. “And if it’s going to get solved, the Republican Party’s going to have to figure out how to do it.”

It is baffling to consider any reason lawmakers might have for these shameful games.

Is it because they do not want to leave the decision up to Ohio voters? They’ve proved on more than one occasion they are not interested in the will of Buckeye State residents if it interferes with their agenda.

Is it because they believe their presumptive nominee can’t win Ohio in November unless they keep Biden off the ballot? Are they more comfortable removing the choice?

Is it simply because they enjoy humiliating us for all the world to see?

As House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, put it, “I think we’ve officially sunk lower than Alabama at this point.”

Yes, even Alabama was quick to unanimously pass a workaround for this same problem.

Lawmakers who believe in their party’s presumptive presidential nominee and understand their job is to work for us must abandon the power-mad political theater and figure out how to get the nominees for both parties on the ballot, without wasting another day.



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