Alabama Governor Signs Biden Ballot Legislation

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Thursday, May 2, the Alabama state government fully approved a piece of legislation to confirm that President Joe Biden will be listed on the state’s ballot for the upcoming November elections. This action is similar to accommodations made in 2020 for then-President Donald Trump.

The bill received overwhelming support, passing the House of Representatives with a vote of 93-0 and was quickly signed into law by Republican Governor Kay Ivey, as confirmed by her spokeswoman.

Democratic State Senator Merika Coleman, the primary sponsor of the legislation, celebrated the bipartisan support for the bill. She called it a “great day in Alabama” due to the “bipartisan manner” in which the bill was approved. The legislation saw no opposition within the Republican-majority Alabama Legislature.

The need for this legislative action arose due to Alabama and Ohio having early ballot certification deadlines that precede the Democratic National Convention, scheduled to start on August 19. There were concerns from Republican state officials that without adjustments, Biden could potentially be left off the ballot.

The Biden campaign said that the President would appear on ballots in every state, pointing out that states have often made accommodations to ensure the candidates of both parties can appear. 

Historically, Alabama’s early deadline for candidate certification, one of the earliest in the United States, has presented challenges for the party holding their convention later in the election cycle.

This issue was previously addressed in 2020 for Trump, when the Republican-led Alabama Legislature amended the certification deadline to better align with the GOP convention schedule.

During the legislative discussion, Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Chris Pringle pointed out that adjusting the deadline was a routine measure.

The legislation is adjusting the certification deadline from 82 days before the election to 74 days to accommodate the timing of the Democratic convention.

Had the adjustment not been made, there was a high likelihood of legal challenges, particularly since accommodations were previously made for Republican nominees. The Biden campaign had proposed provisional certification, a method used in past elections in Alabama and other states, though Secretary of State Wes Allen did not agree due to his belief that he lacks authority.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, discussions continue as the state’s election leader mentioned that the Republican-led Legislature has until the upcoming Thursday to pass a similar exemption to their 90-day rule, which currently sets the ballot deadline at August 7. While no proposal has yet been made, legislative leaders from both parties are still open to the possibility, with sessions planned for Wednesday, May 8.

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