Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who recently excluded former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot, became the target of a swatting attempt.
This malicious act involved a fraudulent emergency call, prompting law enforcement to respond to her residence the day after her decision under the Constitution’s insurrection clause. Although Bellows was absent during the incident, responding officers found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Swatting, a concerning trend targeting elected officials, has gained notoriety, with Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene experiencing a similar incident in Georgia. Investigations into these cases have led to arrests and charges, prompting states to consider more stringent penalties for such offenses.
While the motive behind the swatting attempt on Bellows remains unclear, she attributes it to her decision regarding Trump’s ballot removal. This assertion is reinforced by the dissemination of her home address on social media by a conservative activist, amplifying the threat. Despite facing threats and intimidation, Bellows remains resolute in fulfilling her constitutional duties and upholding the rule of law.
The incident reflects a broader pattern, as other politicians, including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, have also fallen victim to swatting attempts. Bellows condemns not only threatening communications but also the dehumanizing content posted online, emphasizing the dangers of escalating rhetoric.
Expressing concern for the values that define Maine’s democratic tradition, Bellows calls for de-escalation and a return to civil discourse. In the aftermath of the swatting attempt, she underscores the importance of upholding democratic principles and urges all stakeholders to uphold the values that make the state great.
Despite the Trump campaign’s intention to appeal Bellows’ decision, she suspends the ruling pending the state court’s decision. Notably, the Colorado Supreme Court recently removed Trump from its ballot under the insurrection clause, awaiting a final decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on this matter rooted in the Civil War-era provision.