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(COLUMBUS, O.H.) — Ohio lawmakers convene again on Thursday for a special legislative session aimed to ensure President Joe Biden will appear on their general election ballot in November despite the Democratic National Committee’s announcement earlier this week that they would remedy the issue on its own.

The Ohio House is expected to consider two bills on Thursday after the Senate earlier this week passed a bill that would both allow Biden to appear on their general election ballot in November, but also bar foreign contributions to ballot issue campaigns.

One of the bills that the House is considering Thursday would deliver a temporary extension to the state’s current ballot certification deadline of Aug. 7. Democrats are set to nominate Biden at the party’s convention, which starts Aug. 19 — meaning Biden wouldn’t be eligible to make it on the Ohio ballot given the earlier August deadline.

The bill is now superfluous after the national party announced they’d virtually nominate the president ahead of Ohio’s certification cutoff.

Now, much of the session is focused on the second bill: GOP-led legislation that would bar foreign contributions in statewide ballot initiatives — something Democrats argue jeopardizes Ohioans’ right to organize and participate in political activity through issue campaigns.

“We don’t need your fix,” State Sen. Bill DeMora, a Democrat, said on Tuesday. “We don’t want a legislative fix that holds the voters and their rights to the whim of the majority.”

Democrats have also expressed uneasiness with a portion of the foreign money legislation that would give the attorney general’s office power to investigate potential foreign contributions if the Ohio Elections Commission sounds the alarm on a case.

During a House Oversight Committee meeting on Wednesday, Democratic members and citizens raised concerns that Ohio’s attorney general would get “unprecedented power to enforce election laws” and might threaten upcoming ballot campaigns this fall.

“I strongly believe that by putting up these broad unspecific and frankly confusing restrictions and empowering the attorney general to enforce them in a very, very heavy way, will certainly put a chilling effect on the right of Ohioans to be able to engage in our democratic process,” Spencer Dirrig of the Ohio Environmental Councils action fund said during a House Government Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday.

Still, Republicans are urging the legislature to pass legislation that would ensure Biden’s place on the Ohio general election ballot.

“While I understand the Democratic National Committee has … proposed a work-around to help get President Biden on the Ohio ballot, it is prudent legislation be passed to get this done,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said in a statement after the special session gaveled out on Tuesday.

“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.

It’s unclear if legislation will be sent to DeWine this week, however.

On Tuesday, Ohio’s state Senate passed a version of a bill that combines both Biden’s ballot access fix and the foreign money legislation. But the House is expected to consider two separate bills addressing those issues on Thursday.

On Friday, when the Senate is set to reconvene, they could take up those two bills likely to pass through the House this afternoon. If they do not, the special session would end without anything pushing through both chambers.

Democrats raise concern over additional AG power extended in foreign money bill

Democrats have also expressed uneasiness with a portion of the foreign money legislation that would give the attorney general’s office power to investigate potential foreign contributions if the Ohio Elections Commission sounds the alarm on a case.

During a House Oversight Committee meeting on Wednesday, Democratic members and citizens raised concerns that Ohio’s attorney general would get “unprecedented power to enforce election laws” and might threaten upcoming ballot campaigns this fall.

Separately, a ballot measure focused on redrawing congressional and state legislative districts is currently being considered in the state, along with one that could raise the minimum wage.

“I’ve been very careful not to identify all the different ways that things could go wrong giving this kind of power to the attorney general,” said Catherine Turcer, campaign finance advocate who now is the executive director of Common Cause Ohio, a nonpartisan advocacy organization. “But we do know that vesting this kind of power can create problems. It’s hard to live up to your better angels. It’s hard not to worry about your friends. It’s hard not to worry about your political party. It’s hard to stand up to pressure from donors.”

Spencer Dirrig of the Ohio Environmental Councils action fund echoed Turcer’s concern.

“I strongly believe that by putting up these broad unspecific and frankly confusing restrictions and empowering the attorney general to enforce them in a very, very heavy way, will certainly put a chilling effect on the right of Ohioans to be able to engage in our democratic process,” he said.

Committee Chair Bob Peterson, a Republican, conceded at the end of the hearing that “there might be a role for the attorney general, but we need to make sure that there are safeguards in place.”

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