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.

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