Watch Secretary of State Bellows’ uncomfortable exchange with Congressman Steil on HR 1


Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows testified before Congress on Thursday in support of HR 1, an 800-page election reform bill that is “a direct attack on free speech and federalism” according to the R Street Institute.

During the hearing, Representative Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.) pressed Bellows on the merits of HR 1, specifically whether the reported success of Maine’s elections is a result of the state’s autonomy over its election system or a product of federal mandates, like those outlined in HR 1.

Also buried in HR 1 are provisions to expand public financing of elections. Congressman Steil questioned Bellows about Maine’s so-called clean elections law, including The Maine Wire’s report about Bellows forfeiting her seat in the Maine Senate to run for Secretary of State after running her Senate campaign with $74,150 in public funding.

Watch the full five minute exchange below:


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