Two of the Democrats and one Republican running for president have failed to be certified for Ohio's spring primary ballot. One will be a write-in candidate though.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Tuesday that 11 Democratic presidential candidates were certified to have their names appear on the March 17 ballot, while Andrew Yang and John Delaney failed to qualify.
Yang’s campaign encountered an issue with his petition filing, so his name won’t be listed among the Democratic candidates. However, he has been certified as a write-in option.
“My campaign submitted nearly three times the amount of signatures needed, virtually ensuring I would be on the ballot in Ohio. Nevertheless, because of a bureaucratic paperwork issue caused by an awkwardly-worded law, nearly 3,000 Ohioans’ First Amendment rights have been denied," Yang said in a written statement. "As a non-politician, it’s unfathomable that this could happen, but we’re not going to let democracy be thwarted and we are thrilled that we’ve made every other ballot with ease."
Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren were all certified as Democratic candidates.
Delaney also had problems with his petitions and will not be on the ballot. Marianne Williamson didn’t file paperwork.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump’s petitions were certified, but those of challenger Bill Weld were not, so the president won’t face a GOP primary opponent in Ohio.
Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper says he doesn’t blame Ohio’s ballot access process.
“You have to follow some basic procedures but it’s not, well, let’s be honest. Almost every other presidential candidate succeeded in getting on the ballot. It means you get here early enough to organize and you get here early enough to do your homework and get it right," Pepper said.
Pepper says Yang’s votes will be treated just like the other certified candidates as far as he is concerned.
“We’ve made clear we would recognize those write-in votes as the Secretary of State is recording and tabulating them," Pepper said.
The voter registration deadline is February 18 and early voting starts the next day.