Secretary of State Should Be Elected by the People

By now, you’ve certainly been inundated with headlines, social media posts, and messages

about Maine’s Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, and her unilateral move to engage in voter

suppression. Denying President Trump ballot access actively suppresses the choice of hundreds of thousands of Maine voters. It’s not just about one candidate, it’s about all of us.

While keeping candidates off the ballot is something you may only hear about in faraway lands,

authoritarian dictatorships, and banana republics, it’s an unfortunate historical reality for Democrats in America. Democrats were able to keep Abraham Lincoln off the ballot, but were, unfortunately, successful in race-based voter suppression in the Jim Crow reconstruction South.

Regardless how you feel about President Trump – or any candidate that qualifies for the ballot –

we are a nation of laws and citizens need to be convicted of crimes in order to face legal

consequences and have their rights curtailed. There are no pending cases or charges for any of

the unhinged remarks made by Secretary Bellows. As a nation of laws, we don’t throw people in

jail because we don’t like them and we certainly don’t deny them ballot access for the same reason.

Secretary Bellows and reasonable people across Maine know this is a political stunt. It has been

so poorly executed that even people who voted to impeach President Trump have come out

against this edict by Bellows. Senators King and Collins, as well as Congressman Golden have

all released statements throwing cold water on her anti-democratic move. They know it has no

legal basis and will fail miserably in court. They know voter suppression is anti-American.

We expected our chief elections officer to provide objective administration and oversight of our

electoral process. We do not appreciate political stunts from officials who are in charge of

administering our elections.

Unfortunately, this is an expected result because the Secretary of State does not answer to the

Maine People. Rather than being elected by more than 670,000 Mainers who voted in 2022, the

Secretary of State is selected by about 100 party insiders at the state house. When you’re voted

in by partisans, you only answer to them. Frankly, the Maine people have lost confidence in her

judgment.

The only way we can ensure this does not happen again is to ensure the Secretary of State is elected by the Maine People. House Republicans have put in several bills over the years to make this a reality, but it is constantly thwarted by those same party insiders that installed

Bellows in the first place. Voting Republican in 2024 will ensure the Maine People can choose their own Secretary of State; one that works for them and answers to them, and not one that makes unconstitutional decisions for them.

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