At least 3 states have given notice that the Democratic National Convention will occur too late for state legal deadlines for filing the appropriate paperwork to appear on the November US presidential ballot. Why was the DNC scheduled so late? I understand that the DNC follows the RNC because the Democrats hold the White House, but it's not like there are mere days between the conventions.

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    It's good to add links to provide context. nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/… Seems that this has always been fudged in the past (e.g. Trump was on the Alabama ballot in 2020) of course what's changed this year is the willingness to use the courts and constitution to disqualify Trump, and now Biden.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 12 at 9:08
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    This year it is august 19-22 and in 2020 it was august 17-20
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 12 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


The conventions are usually held in late July through early September. Dates from this list

Year Convention Date
1996 Aug 26-29
2000 Aug 14-17
2004 July 26-29
2008 Aug 25-28
2012 Sept 4-6
2016 July 25-28
2020 Aug 17-20
2024 Aug 19-22

So 2024 is not an outlier in terms of recent dates for the Democrats Convention.

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    Yes, but why was it scheduled so late this year and all the years before? This answer gives some context, however the underlying reason for these dates remains unknown. Commented Apr 12 at 19:30
  • I did try to answer that part, but they've not explained why the specific dates were selected, only the location. In 2020, the convention date was changed due to Covid restrictions.
    – Machavity
    Commented Apr 12 at 20:22
  • @NoDataDumpNoContribution It's not that the conventions are "late". The issue is that some states have arbitrarily early deadlines for candidate registration. From what I've read, the intent is to keep third party candidates off the ballot. Who the presumptive candidate is for a major party is typically well known well before that party's national convention, so that presumptive candidate is the candidate placed on the ballot in those states with overly early deadlines. Commented Apr 13 at 6:38
  • In other words, states have traditionally bent their rules for the two major parties in the case of a major party having its nominating convention occurring after a state's arbitrarily early registration deadline. Those states do not do the same rule bending for third party candidates. Commented Apr 13 at 6:51
  • @DavidHammen Good comments. One could ask if these deadlines are indeed uncommonly early by comparing with deadlines all over the world. I mean that even third party candidates should start campaigning and deciding that they want to run some time before an election. Commented Apr 13 at 8:52

This has happened multiple times before. By the time of a political party's national convention, it is typically well known who that party's candidate will be. The states with arbitrarily early deadlines have long accepted a party's presumptive candidate as the candidate to place on the ballot for that party.

This happened to Donald Trump in 2020. The states of Alabama and Ohio (and several other states) put Donald Trump on the ballot as the Republican candidate, even though the Republican national convention in that year (August 24 to 27, 2020) occurred after those states deadlines. Note that Alabama and Ohio are two of the three states that have notified the Democratic parties in those states that they cannot put Biden on the ballot.

  • This info is covered in the news story linked by @JamesK. It supplies less new information than the answer by Machavity. It provides a modicum of context for what has happened before, but it neither answers the question, nor addresses any underlying misunderstanding which might render the question moot.
    – user121330
    Commented Apr 13 at 19:36

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