For the first time in history, a major candidate has been removed from the Maine primary ballot by the Secretary of State. Donald Trump, the President of the United States, will not be a part of the GOP primary in the state of Maine due to a technicality with his paperwork.
President Trump missed out on an important deadline which was set by Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, preventing him from being the only major candidate not to get onto the ballot for the primary election. The deadline was for the Republican Party to give Dunlap a list of certified candidates for the primary ballot by March 16th. However, on April 30th, the Republican Party failed to give the required paperwork for ballot inclusion.
This is not the first time President Trump has been the victim of an unusual electoral twist. In the 2016 election his name wasn’t put on the Massachusetts ballot due to a paperwork problem, then he ended up winning the general election in that state.
This latest development caused an immediate uproar from many Republicans, including Senator Susan Collins of Maine. She tweeted, “I believe firmly in the right of voters to select our nominees and am very disappointed that President Trump will not appear on the ballot in our state.”
Dunlap has cited election laws, which require candidates to be certified by the respective party in time for the deadline, as the reason for excluding President Trump from the ballot.
Other political observers have argued about the fairness of the decision. Many conservatives have argued that this move was a partisan attack on the President, while progressives have argued that the rules should be applied equally to all candidates to ensure fair elections.
At the end of the day, this situation is an unprecedented one and a reminder that the electoral process can quickly become convoluted. While it is true that the rules should be applied to everyone the same, it is important to remember that the people of Maine have been denied the chance to vote for or against their President in the Republican primary and that the lack of paperwork is the reason why.