REFERENDA QUESTIONS ON WISCONSIN STATEWIDE BALLOT
SPRING 2023 – ELECTION DAY, APRIL 4, 2023
The state legislature has approved three (3) referenda questions on the statewide ballot for this spring’s nonpartisan general election.
Questions 1 and 2 are “binding” referenda, meaning if they pass, the state constitution will be amended to include language as reflected in the questions. If they fail, the state constitution will not be amended.
Here are the questions taken directly from the ballot, with some annotation Wisconsin Family Council is supplying to help voters understand what each question involves. Simply put, both questions give judges more flexibility when setting bail. Voters indicate either “yes” or “no” in response to the questions.
State of Wisconsin Conditions of Release Before Conviction Referendum – Question 1
QUESTION 1: “Conditions of release before conviction. Shall section 8 (2) of article I of the constitution be amended to allow a court to impose on an accused person being released before conviction conditions that are designed to protect the community from serious harm?”
Question 1 is about whether or not a judge can consider “serious harm” (public safety) when setting conditions of bail. A “yes” vote will amend the Wisconsin constitution as noted; a “no” vote means the noted section of the Wisconsin constitution will remain as it currently is.
Under current law, judges can only consider conditions that prevent the risk of death or potentially life-threatening injury. For example, a pedophile awaiting trial currently can’t be prevented from going to a playground as a condition of bail, because that condition (banning the pedophile from playgrounds) isn’t really necessary to prevent a risk of injury potentially resulting in death. It would just be preventing sexual assault.
State of Wisconsin Cash Bail Before Conviction Referendum – Question 2
QUESTION 2: “Cash bail before conviction. Shall section 8 (2) of article I of the constitution be amended to allow a court to impose cash bail on a person accused of a violent crime based on the totality of the circumstances, including the accused’s previous convictions for a violent crime, the probability that the accused will fail to appear, the need to protect the community from serious harm and prevent witness intimidation, and potential affirmative defenses?”
Question 2 deals with whether a judge can consider the “totality of the circumstances” when setting cash bail for violent crimes. A “yes” vote will amend the Wisconsin constitution as noted; a “no” vote means the noted section of the Wisconsin constitution will remain as it currently is.
Currently in Wisconsin a judge is limited to a single factor (flight risk) when setting cash bail. This question allows a judge to look at additional factors (past criminal convictions, serious harm, etc.) when setting cash bail for violent crimes.
The third question on the statewide ballot is strictly advisory, meaning if the “yes” votes outnumber the “no” votes, nothing changes in our law; and if the “no” votes outnumber the “yes” votes nothing changes in our law. The state legislature put this question to the voters to get a sense of what citizens think about this issue. The question is very straight-forward.
State of Wisconsin Welfare Benefits Referendum – Question 3
QUESTION 3: “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits?”
A printable pdf of this post is available HERE.
With the midterm election just a few days away, we are in the midst of intense spiritual warfare. Politics is always a spiritual business, as it involves truth and ethics. But with so much at stake during this election, the forces of darkness threatening to steal our children’s innocence, destroy the family unit, annihilate another generator of Wisconsin’s unborn future, and remove our God-given rights are working overtime.
“It was Lucifer’s attempt to displace Christ from the Throne of Heaven that got him expelled (Isaiah 14:12). Lucifer is still seeking thrones for himself, and weak, spiritually naïve human beings seeking power easily become instruments of his quest,” writes Wallace B. Henley of the Christian Post.
As Christians, we can fight back against the Devil’s attempt to seek political thrones for himself by honoring God with our vote. This means that the candidates we vote for should stand for biblical principles. They should be unwavering in their protection of parental rights, the sanctity of life, children’s innocence, and religious liberty.
There may not always be a candidate whose views align perfectly with God’s teaching, but there will likely be an option that is clearly the most ethical. Part of honoring God with our vote is preventing the evil ideas of the left from coming into fruition by voting for the most ethical candidate, even if we don’t agree with him/her on everything.
Further, if we are going to make significant headway against the evil in our country, we need churches and pastors to directly address the political issues that the Bible takes a clear stance on—in particular, abortion, marriage, and human sexuality.
Pro-abortion advocates and government leaders are working tirelessly to ensure a future of abortion on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Unfortunately, many Christians fail to recognize abortion as the grave offense against God that it is, and abortion extremists are taking advantage of that.
Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outrageously claim that abortion and the Christian faith are compatible, while California Governor Gavin Newsom is using Bible verses to advertise for abortion across the country.
The church needs to step up and set the record straight on abortion, marriage, human sexuality, and children’s rights including the right to life. Pastors dare not any longer ignore these biblical issues that have been politicized, as the left shows no signs of stopping in their mission to dismantle the traditional family, immerse young children in inappropriate material, abort the unborn, and elevate adult desires above children’s rights.
This is not to say that churches should become political power houses. Our interest is rather in making sure God’s people are informed so they can then appropriately engage with the government God has given us in this great country—a Republic, which requires the participation of its citizens. Our dual citizenship—in Heaven and on Earth—requires that we be good citizens of both places. Good citizens vote knowledgeably and responsibly—and honor God in doing so.
Most importantly, as good citizens of both heaven and earth, we must pray for this election. Pray that the most Christ-centered leaders are elected and that they lead our country toward virtue and Truth.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
We are less than one month away from Wisconsin’s spring election! Tuesday, April 5 is election day.
This is our spring nonpartisan general election. We will be electing mayors, city council members, town and village board members, county executives, county supervisors, school board members, and municipal, circuit and appellate judges.
Early in-person voting starts March 22, and absentee by mail ballots are already available with your local clerk. If at all possible, deliver your absentee ballot (the one you received in the mail) to the clerk’s office in person. Don’t use a drop box or put it in the mail unless absolutely necessary. To find your local clerk and inquire about days and hours of early in-person voting, click here.
Want to know what’s on the ballot? Starting next week, sample ballots should be available, and you can view them here. You can also find information on registering, getting an absentee ballot, where to vote, and more using that link, too.
No level of government impacts our lives more than local government. And we can have more impact on local government than any other level.
There are two things here we don’t want you to miss: 1) how important it is for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s lives and their education, and 2) you — yes, YOU — have a role to play in how elected officials treat you and govern your community.
In a poll on Instagram earlier this week, we asked if viewers wanted changes made in the way their county is governed. 100% of them said “yes.” If you’re one of those people, or you agree with them, we’ve created an event just for you called, Your Backyard: Own It! We firmly believe God has called each of us to play a critical role in our government, whether that’s voting responsibly, speaking up in local government meetings, or running for office. At this event, we will educate you on the unique needs of your local community and how to create positive and lasting change.
We are living in challenging and quickly changing times, and God has a purpose for each of us to impact our local communities. We hope you can join us for an evening filled with practical ways to “own our backyard.” Click here to find a location near you and RSVP.
With significant issues at stake in Wisconsin right now, who we elect is critical to the preservation of life, liberty, and family. We have a wonderful opportunity to let our voices be heard at this election, and it’s important to make the most of it.
See you at the polls on Tuesday, April 5!
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.