In a bold and unprecedented decision, Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, has declared her intention to remove Donald Trump’s name from the state’s presidential ballot.
Citing the ‘insurrectionist ban’ outlined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Bellows contends that Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack renders him ineligible for electoral participation.
Bellows asserts that the evidence presented demonstrates the insurrection “occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President (Trump).”
Despite her decision, she has opted to delay the actual removal of Trump’s name until the courts reach a final ruling on the matter, allowing the former president to feature on the Republican primary ballot slated for March 5.
Trump Campaign Denies Insurrection, Labels Decision as Election Interference
The Trump campaign vehemently denies the characterization of the January 6 events as an insurrection and condemns Bellows’ decision.
In an official statement, Trump’s spokesperson, Steven Cheung, accuses Bellows of being a “leftist” attempting to interfere in the presidential election, describing it as an “attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter.”
The campaign plans to file a legal objection in Maine’s state court system, anticipating that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say on Trump’s eligibility for state ballots in the coming year.
National Ramifications: Colorado Sets Precedent, Michigan and Minnesota Reject Similar Challenges
Maine’s decision follows a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, which declared Trump ineligible for public office due to the 14th Amendment’s disqualification of insurrectionists. Trump has vowed to appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Contrary to Maine and Colorado, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a comparable effort to exclude Trump from the ballot, as did Minnesota’s high court.
Trump’s opponents in the Republican primaries, including Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, have criticized the ballot removal efforts.
Despite Maine being a predominantly Democratic state, the potential impact on a close Electoral College contest cannot be ignored, as illustrated by the state’s split allocation of electoral votes in the 2020 election.