The Democratic secretary of state in Maine, Shenna Bellows, made a significant decision on Thursday by removing former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot. This action was taken under the Constitution’s insurrection clause, making Bellows the first election official to act unilaterally. The consequences of this decision could potentially affect the Electoral College.
Maine is one of two states that split its electoral votes, and Trump won one of Maine’s electors in the 2020 election. If Trump were to become the Republican general election candidate, his absence from the ballot in Maine could have notable implications in a tightly contested race.
Bellows’ decision follows a ruling made by the Colorado Supreme Court in December, which also removed Trump from the ballot. The Colorado ruling was based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. It is worth noting that Colorado is a Democratic-leaning state that is not expected to be competitive for Republicans in the upcoming November election.
In her ruling, Secretary of State Bellows determined that Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol violated Section 3 of the Constitution. This section explicitly prohibits individuals who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Bellows’ decision was prompted by the challenges brought forth by several residents of the state, including a bipartisan group of former lawmakers.