Donald Trump Disqualified From Maine Presidential Ballot

Sec. of State Shenna Bellows joins Colorado in barring the former president on allegations of violating the 14th Amendment

Donald Trump attends a campaign event on Dec. 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa
Donald Trump attends a campaign event on Dec. 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Maine has joined Colorado as the second state to ban Donald Trump from its presidential primary ballot on charges that he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by inciting his supporters to stage the insurrection attempt on Jan. 6, 2021.

“The weight of the evidence makes clear that Mr. Trump was aware of the tinder laid by his multi-month effort to delegitimize a democratic election, and then chose to light a match,” wrote Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows. “[Trump] used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power.”

Bellows’ decision echoes that made by the Colorado Supreme Court earlier this month, one that is expected to be appealed by Trump to the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court, which has never handed down a ruling on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That section, established after the Civil War to prevent Confederate leaders from running for president, bars anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from running for public office.

Bellows noted in her ruling that Trump’s ban would not be enforced until the courts rule on the 14th Amendment charge, “given the compressed timeframe, the novel constitutional questions involved, the importance of this case, and impending ballot preparation deadlines.”

In a statement to NBC News, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung vowed that Trump’s team would appeal the ruling and went after Bellows, a former Democratic state senator.

“The Maine Secretary of State is a former ACLU attorney, a virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat who has decided to interfere in the presidential election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden,” he said. “We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter.”

While Colorado leans firmly towards the Democrats in presidential elections, Maine is one of the few states that splits its electoral college votes depending on results. Trump received one of the state’s four electoral college votes in 2020.

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