In Maine, Questions Over Decision to Push Trump Off the Ballot

In the small town of Blue Hill, about halfway up Maine’s jagged, meandering coastline — not far from Hancock, where Ms. Bellows, the secretary of state, grew up — Richard Boulet hesitated before revealing his opinion of her decision. As director of Blue Hill’s public library, he is officially “apolitical,” he said; he wants all people, including Mr. Trump’s supporters and his detractors, to use the library and feel welcome there.

“As a private citizen, however, there’s not much doubt in my mind that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6,” said Mr. Boulet, 51, sitting at his desk upstairs in the brick library. “That is a real source of concern for me.” He cited Ms. Bellows’s former position as director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, and added: “I don’t think she came to this decision lightly. It’s hard for me to see it as a partisan decision.”

Three miles to the north, on the outskirts of town, Donald Bowden, 52, leaned against a door frame outside the automotive repair shop where he has worked for 37 years, R.W. Bowden & Sons Garage.

Taking a short break, his hands black with grease, Mr. Bowden, who goes by Donny, said he learned the trade as a teenager under his father’s guidance; he is now the president of the company. His values, he said, are family first, then work, then rest and recreation.

He said he was not political, but he was troubled by Ms. Bellows’s action.

“It’s insane,” he said. “I think it’s a little unconstitutional, but they’re trying to use the constitution to defend it. It’s painfully obvious that it’s a witch hunt for anyone they don’t like. First and foremost, it’s very childish. If you don’t like someone, what do we do? Hound them and hound them and hound them nationwide. Common sense tells you this is not productive.”

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