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In Maine, questions about the decision to remove Trump from the ballot

In the small town of Blue Hill, halfway up Maine’s rugged, winding coast – not far from Hancock, where Ms. Bellows, the secretary of state, grew up – Richard Boulet hesitated before revealing his opinion on her decision . As director of the Blue Hill Public Library, he is officially “apolitical,” he said; he wants everyone, including Mr. Trump’s supporters and his detractors, to use the library and feel welcome.

“As a private citizen, however, there is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump engaged in an insurrection on January 6,” said Mr. Boulet, 51, sitting at his desk upstairs in the brick library. “It’s a real source of concern for me.” He cited Ms. Bellows’ former position as director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and added, “I don’t think she made this decision lightly.” It’s hard for me to view this as a partisan decision.”

Three miles north, on the outskirts of town, Donald Bowden, 52, leans against a doorframe outside the auto repair shop where he has worked for 37 years, RW Bowden & Sons Garage.

Taking a short break, his hands black with grease, Mr Bowden, nicknamed Donny, said he learned the trade as a teenager under his father; he is now president of the company. His values, he says, are family first, then work, then rest and leisure.

He said he was not political, but was troubled by Ms Bellows’ 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 sadly obvious that this is a witch hunt for everyone they don’t like. First and foremost, it’s very childish. If you don’t like someone, what do we do? Stalk them, stalk them and stalk them all over the country. Common sense tells you that this is not productive.

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