Vote on Key Election Integrity Referenda on April 2!

Vote on Key Election Integrity Referenda on April 2!

Every election is important, and unfortunately, in recent years we’ve had reason to believe our elections are not always fair and transparent. Remember the infamous Zuckerbucks from the 2020 fall elections? Millions of dollars came into Wisconsin from liberal outside groups and went to a number of our most liberal communities to supposedly “help” with not just the 2020 elections but also elections in 2021 and 2022.

In-depth research has revealed that more than $10 million of these Zuckerbucks poured into Wisconsin and went to 216 Wisconsin municipalities involving 39 of our 72 counties since 2020. Our five most populous cities, each considered a Democrat stronghold—Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine—received $8.5 million alone.

In addition to money, liberal organizations also employed people to, again, supposedly “help” the election clerks conduct the elections. These were outsiders who had no official authority whatsoever to be directly involved with the conduct of our elections.

Thankfully, this spring “we the people” of Wisconsin get to vote on two referenda related to the outside money and the outside people impacting our elections. On every ballot across Wisconsin, voters will see two questions, both related to the Zuckerbucks situation.

Question one deals with outside money and asks voters if they want to amend our state Constitution to prohibit “private donations and grants” from being applied for, accepted, expended, or used in the conduct of any of our elections. A “yes” vote means the voter wants to stop outside money from coming into our municipalities during elections.

Question two asks Wisconsin voters if they want to amend our state Constitution to make it clear that only “election officials designated by law” can be involved in conducting our elections. A “yes” vote means the voter wants only legally authorized Wisconsin election officials to be involved in conducting our elections.

The legislature is looking to amend the state Constitution for these provisions rather than just passing a regular bill because the governor has vetoed every election reform bill presented to him. The only way the legislature can get any meaningful election reform done is to bypass the legislature and go directly to “we the people,” which amending the Constitution does.

While these two Constitution-amending questions are on everyone’s ballot, this election is mostly about local government, as all across the state, citizens will be voting for school board members, mayors, city council members, town and village supervisors, and municipal, county, and appellate judges. These are critically important offices because local government is the level of government that most directly impacts our lives.

Our spring nonpartisan general election culminates on Election Day, next Tuesday, April 2. This week is the last week for early in-person voting, which ends in most municipalities at the close of business this Friday.

Every election has consequences; this one is no different. Voters have the opportunity to have their voice heard on the two referenda questions regarding outside money and outside people impacting our elections as well as on who represents them in their local government. There’s no such thing as an unimportant election.

Election Integrity is Under Attack in WI Ahead of Critical Elections

Election Integrity is Under Attack in WI Ahead of Critical Elections

As the political climate heats up in Wisconsin, recent developments in election integrity cases are setting the stage for an intense election cycle. 

Most recently, a Dane County Circuit Court judge directed the Wisconsin Elections Commission to adopt regulations permitting local election authorities to count absentee ballots that include incomplete address information. 

In a clear blow to election integrity, Dane County Judge Ryan Nilsestuen dismissed the Wisconsin Elections Commission’s suggestion that a complete address must include the street number, street name, and municipality name. He determined that a witness address on an absentee ballot envelope may exclude the municipality and ZIP code, or even use terms like “same” or “ditto” when the witness resides with the voter, provided that clerks can ascertain the witness’s residence. This would increase the number of valid votes in critical upcoming elections where slim vote margins could determine the outcomes. At the same time, Governor Evers has vetoed a slew of Republican-led election reform bills that aimed to secure our state’s elections. 

Meanwhile, we also had a good election-related court decision recently. Last month, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) won a lawsuit against the City Clerk of Racine and Wisconsin Elections Commission, securing election integrity in the process.  

The Racine County Circuit Court ruled that the City’s use of a mobile voting van at particular sites around the City was illegal under state law. Specifically, the Court found that the mobile voting sites gave a partisan advantage to one political party over others and that state law did not allow the use of a van as an absentee voting site. 

Other court cases that involve Wisconsin’s legislative maps could significantly impact upcoming elections. Last month, a leftist attorney filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Wisconsin’s congressional maps to advance his political agenda. 

Up to this point, our Assembly and Senate legislative maps have been the focus of controversy, with the State Supreme Court deciding the current legislative maps are unconstitutional and demanding that new maps be implemented for this fall’s elections.This lawsuit challenging the congressional maps adds yet another wrinkle.

WILL last week took steps to try to block this latest legal maneuver regarding the congressional maps. WILL is calling for Justice Janet Protasiewicz to recuse herself from any ruling that revisits the case that resulted in the current congressional maps because of explicit statements about the maps as she campaigned. 

Lucas Vebber WILL Deputy Counsel, stated, “Wisconsin’s current congressional map was proposed by Governor Evers and adopted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2022. Any attempt to revisit this ruling and once again alter Wisconsin’s Congressional districts is both procedurally improper and legally wrong.”  

WILL notes that Wisconsin state law mandates that judges, including Supreme Court justices, must recuse themselves from cases in which impartiality might be compromised or if they have a substantial personal stake in the outcome. The law stipulates that any judge “shall disqualify” themselves whenever they “cannot, or it appears…they cannot, act in an impartial manner.”

Further, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin made a substantial contribution of nearly $10 million to the campaign of Justice Janet Protasiewicz. Throughout her campaign, she labeled Wisconsin’s district maps as “rigged” to benefit Republicans and specifically criticized the congressional maps, stating “we know something’s wrong.” Her repeated comments on the Johnson v. WEC case during the campaign underscore the argument for her recusal.

These court cases challenging maps need to stop; the fall elections loom. We the people have a right to know well in advance what districts we will be in, as do candidates who are preparing to run for office. For sure, part of the liberals’ plan is to keep people uncertain and confused as to what is legal and what is not. Keeping everyone questioning about what districts they live in for voting purposes is part of their plan.

The foundation of our republic relies on elections that are transparent, secure, and trustworthy. To preserve a government that truly reflects the will of the people, it’s crucial that we advocate for and demand the integrity of elections and the establishment of fair and transparent electoral laws. 

Most importantly, we must show up and vote in the upcoming elections, regardless of how election integrity cases and legislative proposals in our state play out. The surest way for liberal progressives to take over is for conservatives to get so discouraged by the possibility of election fraud that they don’t vote. We cannot hand our state or our country over to the left without a fight.

Evers vetoes 43 bills – and only signed 35. He’s not honoring the will of the people.

Evers vetoes 43 bills – and only signed 35. He’s not honoring the will of the people.

Gov. Tony Evers took action on 78 bills last week, signing 35 and vetoing 43. He vetoed a number of bills that would have made beneficial laws in Wisconsin. With these vetoes, Evers has set a new gubernatorial veto record for a single session. He’s vetoed 98 bills.

Several of the bills pertained to election reform. Senate Bill 942 required the Elections Commission to disclose any failures of the Commission or Departments of Transportation, Corrections, and Health Services to abide by election laws. The Department of Administration would also be required to remove positions and funding from state agencies as punishment for failure to abide by election laws. 

In his rationale, Gov. Evers called the bill a “flagrant violation of the separation of powers” and a threat to “independent elections.” Ironic, no?

Election integrity is a major issue throughout our country right now, with Wisconsin in several ways leading the pack. Many voters are rightly concerned that their voice is being undermined by fraud. Had it been signed into law, SB 942 would have helped safeguard secure and transparent elections and re-instill confidence in Wisconsin voters. Unfortunately, this was not a priority for Evers. 

Senate Bill 938 also would have helped safeguard fair elections. It required the Department of Transportation to mark IDs that are invalid for voting purposes. Evers claimed that “there is no evidence of non-citizens voting in this state.” That’s an interesting way to dodge the well-documented trail of evidence of voter fraud in Wisconsin in general. Regardless, this measure would have prevented fraudulent votes from being cast and boosted voter confidence. 

In addition, Senate Bill 939 would have made several changes to the process of obtaining an absentee ballot such as restricting automatically sent ballots, prohibiting sending ballots before voters request them, and others. Again, the bill would have helped prevent election fraud and safeguarded our form of government in Wisconsin, but Evers blocked it from becoming law. Again, given the well-documented voter fraud in Wisconsin that involved absentee ballots and nursing homes, SB 939 should have been a no-brainer. 

Fact: Governor Tony Evers has vetoed every election reform bill given to him—and there have been many since January 2021.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen governors in many states, including in The Badger Srate, abuse their emergency powers and enact tyrannical Covid restrictions. To protect individual liberties, we need to place limits on such powers through legislation. We had the opportunity to do so in Wisconsin with Assembly Bill 912, which would have placed limits on emergency powers during emergencies, but again, Evers blocked it. 

Assembly Bill 414 is another vital piece of legislation that Evers shot down. The bill would have banned Critical Race Theory (CRT) training for any local or state employees. CRT is a racist worldview that is plaguing education and government agencies. No employee should ever have to endure harmful indoctrination to keep their job. In his poor rationale, Evers simply claimed that he is opposing the bill because it infringes upon the executive branch. Does he need a reminder that it is the legislature’s duty to write laws?

Lastly, Evers vetoed several bills that would allocate taxpayer-funded federal Covid relief monies to specific entities with specific amounts rather than his unilateral disbursement of these funds to groups that he is paying back or that will support his re-election this fall. Unfortunately, Evers refused to ensure that Covid relief funds are used fairly and efficiently. 

Evers is clearly not honoring the will of the Wisconsin people. Voters wanted to see these measures passed, and their elected representatives did so.  It is Evers’ job to listen to his constituents. 

Thankfully, there is an election coming up this fall, and we have the power to hold this governor accountable. 

Election Integrity May Head to WI Supreme Court

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit last June challenging the legality of absentee ballot drop boxes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) encouraged the use of absentee ballot drop boxes and told voters that anyone could return their ballot for them. Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren recently determined that absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting are illegal in Wisconsin. He also ruled that the WEC’s guidance in 2020 on absentee ballot drop boxes should have gone through the rules process.

“There are just two legal methods to cast an absentee ballot in Wisconsin: through the mail or in-person at a clerk’s office. And voters must return their own ballots. We are pleased the court made this clear, providing Wisconsin voters with certainty for forthcoming elections,” said WILL Deputy Counsel Luke Berg. 

Unfortunately, earlier this week a state appeals court overruled Judge Bohren and ordered that absentee voter ballot boxes be available for this spring’s primary election on Tuesday, February 15. The three-judge appeals court panel said to change the law at this point would disrupt an election already in process. WILL has not yet indicated whether they will petition the Wisconsin Supreme Court as the next step, but we anticipate that they will.

The Bohren ruling on absentee ballots would help clarify election integrity issues as we head into a year filled with critical elections. Spring nonpartisan elections will occur in April, with the primary on February 15, and fall partisan elections will occur in November, with that primary on Tuesday, August 9. In the fall, our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, one U.S. Senate seat, all 8 Congressional seats, all 99 of our State Assembly seats, and half of our state Senate seats (odd-numbered districts) are on the ballot. 

Judge Bohren’s ruling is a step in the right direction as we work to combat election fraud and restore public trust in our electoral procedures. It’s unfortunate that the appeals court overruled him. As the last few elections have proven, many Americans have little faith in the integrity of our elections. To make matters worse, Democrats in Washington have been working to remove common-sense election laws. Their efforts pose a threat to our nation as a whole, as our democracy and freedom are dependent on fair and just elections. 

Americans must also be confident that their voice matters in order to appropriately engage in our Republic. This is why the state should do everything in its power to instill confidence within voters that every fraudulently cast vote does not count and that every legally cast vote does

Clearing up the issues of absentee ballot drop boxes and ballot harvesting in Wisconsin is extremely important, especially since the current governor has vetoed every election reform bill the Republican-controlled state legislature has put on his desk.

The surest way for liberal progressives to take over is for conservatives to get so discouraged by the possibility of election fraud that they don’t vote. We cannot hand our state or our country over to the left without a fight. Transparent, secure, and reliable elections are a vital part of our representative Republic. In order to safeguard our government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must demand election integrity and ensure that election laws are clear and just.