Maine Secretary of State Removes Trump from Primary Ballot Over Capitol Attack

Maine’s Democratic Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, made history on Thursday by unilaterally removing former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under the Constitution’s insurrection clause. This decision, the first of its kind, carries potential consequences for the Electoral College.

While Maine has just four electoral votes, it splits them, and Trump won one of Maine’s electors in 2020. Being excluded from the ballot could have significant implications if he becomes the Republican general election candidate, especially in a race expected to be closely contested.

Bellows cited Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits individuals who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Her decision follows the Colorado Supreme Court’s similar ruling in December, which disqualified Trump from the ballot in that state.

Trump’s lawyers had requested Bellows to disqualify herself, alleging bias due to her tweets referring to the Capitol attack as an “insurrection” and expressing disappointment over his Senate acquittal after House impeachment.

Bellows’ ruling can be appealed in Maine’s courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make the final decision on Trump’s eligibility early next year.

This decision highlights the potential challenges for Trump if states decide the issue individually. In Maine, where electoral votes are split by congressional districts, Trump won the state’s second congressional district twice. If he is not on the ballot there, he would start the 2024 campaign down one Electoral College vote.

While this move is unprecedented in presidential elections, Bellows’ decision emphasizes the ongoing legal and constitutional debates surrounding Trump’s political future. The outcome of these challenges will likely have broader implications for election laws and processes across the United States.

Richard Shaw
Richard Shaw
Richard Shaw is a seasoned conservative news journalist based in New Orleans, Louisiana. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Richard is known for his insightful reporting on national and international affairs, as well as his in-depth analysis of political and cultural issues.

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