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Donald Trump Evan Vucci/PA Images
US Election

Maine election official removes Trump from 2024 presidential primary ballot

Some state residents, including a bipartisan group of former legislators, had challenged his position on the ballot.

MAINE’S SECRETARY OF state has removed Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under the US constitution’s insurrection clause, becoming the first election official to take action unilaterally in a decision that has potential Electoral College consequences.

While Maine has just four electoral votes, it is one of two states to split them.

The former president won one of Maine’s electors in 2020, so having him off the ballot there should he emerge as the Republican general election candidate could have major implications in a race that is expected to be narrowly decided.

The decision by Democratic secretary of state Shenna Bellows follows a December ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court that removed Trump from the ballot there under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Colorado is a Democratic-leaning state which is not expected to be competitive for Republicans in November.

Bellows found that Trump could no longer run for president because his role in the January 6 2021 attack on the US Capitol violated Section 3, which bans from office those who “engaged in insurrection”.

She made the ruling after some state residents, including a bipartisan group of former legislators, challenged his position on the ballot.

In her 34-page decision, Bellow said: “I do not reach this conclusion lightly.

“I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection.”

She acknowledged that the US Supreme Court will probably have the final word but said it was important she did her official duty.

Trump’s campaign immediately criticised the ruling.

Spokesman Steven Cheung said: “We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter.”

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