Maine’s top election official removes Trump from 2024 ballot

WATERLOO, IOWA - DECEMBER 19: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign event on December 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa. Iowa Republicans will be the first to select their party's nomination for the 2024 presidential race, when they go to caucus on January 15, 2024. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Maine’s Democratic secretary of state decided to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under the Constitution’s insurrection clause, according to The Associated Press.

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The secretary of state became the first election official to take part in a decision that could pose possible Electoral College issues, the AP reported.

Maine is now the second state to disqualify Trump from the ballot, according to CNN.

In a written decision obtained by the New York Times, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said that Trump was disqualified from the ballot because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Bellows found that he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bans those from office who “engaged in insurrection,” according to the AP.

Bellows’ decision came a day after Trump’s lawyers asked her to “disqualify herself” over tweets that they claimed showed bias, according to the AP.

“I am mindful that no secretary of state has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection,” Bellows said, according to the Times.

Similar arguments were made in Colorado, where the state’s highest court last week ruled 4-3 that Trump should be excluded from the ballot, the newspaper reported.

The decision could be appealed in Maine’s state court, CNN reported.

“I do not reach this conclusion lightly,” Bellows wrote, according to CNN. “Democracy is sacred.”

The United States Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on if Trump can continue to run for president some time in early 2024, the AP reported.

Trump denies any wrongdoing in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, according to CNN.

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