Maine Official Excluding Trump Visits Biden, Criticizes Electoral College

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D), the individual behind the decision to exclude former President Donald Trump from the state’s Republican primary ballot, has made two visits to President Joe Biden’s White House in the last year, according to a report by The New York Post on Saturday.

During her initial visit in March, she met with President Biden. Later on in June, she met with one of Biden’s aides. Following her March visit, Bellows posted a photo on Instagram, characterizing it as a “Birthday jaunt to DC for a Women’s History Month event at the White House.”

She expressed her appreciation for meeting President Biden and also mentioned her mentors, Teresa Younger and Elaine Marshall, at the White House reception. In June, she reportedly met with Justin Vail, a special aide to President Biden, during her return to the White House.

Bellows’ critique of the Electoral College became apparent in a 2021 op-ed for the Democracy Docket, a year after serving as a member of the Electoral College in 2020. In the op-ed, she argued for voting rights beyond state borders — emphasizing the need to address the “relic of white supremacy” represented by the Electoral College.

On Thursday, Bellows ruled that Trump was ineligible for a second presidential term in 2024, citing the 14th Amendment and alleging his involvement in the “insurrection” on January 6, 2021, as the disqualifying factor. Trump’s team called for Bellows’ recusal, arguing that her social media posts indicated a pre-determined belief in Trump’s guilt of “insurrection.”

Concerns now arise regarding the authority vested in a single Secretary of State to determine the choices available to registered voters in Maine. The role of a Secretary of State should prioritize impartiality and uphold the democratic principles of fair representation.

Bellows must have also forgotten about her pushing the #FreedomtoVoteAct in January 2022, where she posted on her social media account that “The fundamental right of any American citizen to vote freely, fairly, and have their vote counted is the premise of our democracy. The Constitution and The Bill of Rights are not values to be compromised away.”

When such a position appears to be influenced by partisan affiliations or external pressures, it raises questions about the integrity of the electoral process. Allowing one individual to wield such influence over who can or cannot appear on a primary ballot undermines the electorate’s voice. It challenges the foundational principles of democracy — where voters should be free to choose from a diverse range of candidates without interference.