Maine’s Democratic secretary of state was questioned after claiming No Labels, a centrist group vying for a third-party spot on the 2024 ballot, was tricking voters into registering with the party.
“I am concerned about whether the secretary of state is creating concerns among voters who have voluntarily signed cards supporting the No Labels efforts.” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., co-chair of No Labels, told a local news outlet after Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows raised concerns about the group.
“I don’t know whether she sends a letter like that out to someone who registers for the Green Party or the Libertarian Party,” Collins added, revealing she found Bellows’ letter “surprising.”
Bellows initially suggested several complaints were made from concerned voters who did not realize they had been registered with the No Labels Party. Democrats then reached out to 6,456 Maine voters who were registered with the centrist group to verify whether they had knowledge of their political party affiliation and reportedly received about 300 calls and emails in response.
“Voter after voter is telling my team that they were instructed that they were merely signing a petition. They were not told they were changing their political party,” Bellows told NBC Monday. “We have had enough similar complaints from voters and clerks alike that it raises serious concerns in our office about No Labels Party organizers.”
Democrats for months have called No Labels a spoiler effort designed to hurt President Biden in the 2024 election, but the group insists the U.S. is ready for a moderate alternative to both Republicans and Democrats.
Despite Bellows’ claims the group was “highly misleading” in its voter registration efforts, No Labels insists it was never made aware of any organizers asking Maine voters to sign a “petition.”
“Your office’s apparent effort to leak your letter immediately to the press without affording No Labels any opportunity to respond also raises legitimate questions about your objectivity,” the group said in a written response to Bellows. “No Labels provided detailed written guidance to all organizers in Maine on following all applicable laws and specifically instructed all organizers to ask voters to join the No Labels Party.”
No Labels said it complied with the state laws on voter registration and provided a copy of the packet that is referenced by its organizers when speaking with voters.
The “ask” portion of the packet directs the No Labels organizers what to say when speaking with voters.
“Can you take 60 seconds to update your voter registration and change your party affiliation to the No Labels Party? If we can get just 5,000 voters to register with the No Labels party we can ensure you have more than just two options come the next election,” the packet says.
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a No Label co-founder, recently told Fox News Digital Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and former GOP Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland “would be naturals to consider” for the 2024 No Labels ticket if the party decides to run a candidate.