A fake emergency call to the police had officers responding at the home of Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, just a day after she removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under the Constitution’s insurrection clause. This incident adds Bellows to the growing list of elected politicians who have become victims of swatting.
Swatting involves making a fraudulent phone call to emergency services, with the intention of triggering a large-scale response from first responders, including SWAT teams. Fortunately, Bellows was not at home when the swatting call was made, and the responding officers found nothing suspicious.
The Maine Department of Public Safety has not disclosed the suspected motive behind this swatting attempt. However, Bellows strongly believes it is connected to her decision to remove Trump from the ballot. A conservative activist had also posted her home address on social media, which likely played a role in making her a target for this incident.
According to the Maine public safety department, an unknown man called emergency services claiming he had broken into a house in Manchester. The address the man provided was Bellows’s home. Fortunately, Bellows and her husband were away for the holiday weekend. Maine State Police responded to the call and conducted a thorough search, both inside and outside the property. Thankfully, no suspicious activities or individuals were found.
As states contemplate stronger penalties for such malicious acts, suspects involved in swatting cases have started being arrested and charged. Law enforcement agencies are taking these incidents seriously and providing special attention to potential targets.
Despite these intimidation tactics, Bellows remains steadfast in her commitment to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. She refuses to allow these incidents to deter her from carrying out her duties as Secretary of State.
Context: Election officials fret over securing the vote in November — and protecting personal safety.
High-Profile Politicians Targeted by Swatting Calls
Several high-profile politicians, including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have reportedly been targets of swatting calls.
Recently, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows faced threats and harassment following her decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state’s ballot. The threats extended to her family and office workers, with dehumanizing images and fabricated text threads attributed to her circulating online.
Bellows, who previously worked in civil rights, understands the dangers of dehumanization leading to violence. She stressed the importance of deescalating the rhetoric and upholding the democratic values that Maine embraces.
In response to the Trump campaign’s appeal, Bellows suspended her ruling until the state courts in Maine make a final determination. Just weeks prior, the Colorado Supreme Court had also removed Trump from their ballot, pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the insurrection clause. However, Maine’s removal of Trump leaves no uncertainty regarding his presence on their ballot.
This week, the Supreme Court could potentially take up the Trump ballot-access case, which could set a significant precedent for future elections.
Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.