Shenna Bellows is Secretary of State of the State of Maine, the very first woman to hold that position, and she joins us on Beyond Politics during a crisis of American democracy. Two-thirds of Republican voters say in surveys but they don’t believe the 2020 election was legitimate. We have seen 350+ bills introduced in legislatures around the country over the past year that in one way or another restrict access to voting. And new Pew Research Center survey finds that a depressingly low number of Americans, only 57%, say voting is “a fundamental right for every adult U.S. citizen and should not be restricted in any way.” 42% now say that “voting is a privilege that comes with responsibilities and can be limited if adult U.S. citizens don’t meet some requirements.”
It’s not going too far to say that in 2020, Secretaries of State like Republican Brad Raffensberger of Georgia were part of the very thin line of courage and integrity that saved American democracy. So we ask Secretary of State Bellows about her efforts to protect the right to vote, how Maine’s groundbreaking ranked-choice voting system works, and what we can do to get people to reaffirm their faith in our basic system of government.