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Vote “Yes” On Both Constitutional Amendments: Opinion

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Guest Commentary by Barb Griffin and Karen Stratton Bichanich
(Both women submitted letters to the editor to our local newspaper, who refused to publish them. While KCE doesn’t normally accept LTEs, these views align with KCE’s so we agreed to publish them here.)

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In 2020, a private foundation called the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) gave more than $10 million to local Wisconsin governments to conduct elections. The CTCL is funded entirely by left-wing entities, principally Facebook and Google.

Some claim the CTCL is purely civic-minded and its donations non-partisan. Perhaps. But consider: Would the people who support the CTCL’s involvement in our elections still do so if the CTCL were funded by Elon Musk’s Musk Foundation? Clearly, the answer is “no”. And they would be right.

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On April 2, two questions will appear on the ballot concerning how our elections are to be conducted. Question 1 would amend the Wisconsin constitution to ban local government from accepting non-governmental funds or equipment for administering elections. Question 2 would amend the constitution to limit the conduct of elections to “election officials designated by law”. Both will enhance the fairness and even-handedness of our elections.

It matters that our elections not only are fair, but are seen to be fair. That is why, for example, when you vote on election day, one of the inspectors handing you your ballot is a Republican and the other a Democrat. That is why we ban electioneering in or around polling places. That is why we have strict rules governing early voting and mail-in ballots. And that is why the running of our elections must not be influenced – or even appear to be influenced – by private money.

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That why I will be voting “Yes” on the two questions on the April ballot, to ban private money from our elections. I urge my fellow citizens to do likewise.

Barb Griffin, Kenosha

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In the upcoming election on April 2, we will vote on two important amendments to the Wisconsin constitution. Both are designed to protect our elections from partisan meddling. Question 1 will block local governments from soliciting or accepting non-government funds or equipment for the administration of elections. Question 2 will restrict the administration of elections to election officials authorized by law.

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Question 2 is simply common sense: After all, who other than officials appointed by law should administer our elections?

As for Question 1, while “free” money from foundations is attractive, it’s important to remember that private entities have private interests. When a private entity is involved in funding and organizing an election, one must ask whether the election is being bent in the direction that that private entity favors. This is particularly true when the money is coming from a billionaire zealot like Mark Zuckerberg.

Critics claim that these measures are intended to “block access to the ballot.” This is nonsense. Wisconsin has the money to administer our elections properly and openly. If private organizations wish to participate in our elections, they’re still perfectly free to do so; all Questions 1 and 2 would do is keep private money, and therefore private interests, out of the administration of elections.

On April 2, Wisconsin can join 27 other states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, in restricting billionaire money from interfering in the administration of our elections: Vote “YES” on Question 1 and Question 2.

Karen Stratton Bichanich

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Back in 2022, I wrote an op-ed titled “Let’s Stop Dark Money from Influencing Our Elections“. Please check out that article for a full breakdown of what happened in the 2020 election. Five Democrat mayors from Wisconsin cities convened to write a joint contract to use Zuckerberg’s money for a Get-Out-The-Vote campaign targeted specifically at Democrat voters.

I’ve been asked a few times if the first referendum question will ban campaign funding from outside states, and it’s important to understand that it does NOT. Private individuals or companies will still be able to donate to campaigns as always. Instead, we want to ban the government itself from accepting election funds to prevent influence from malicious sources. Our elections need to remain neutral.

For any readers who believe everything was fine with the money that came in for the 2020 election, I ask you this: Presumably, you like the politics of our current mayor and the decisions made for the last election, but what would happen if our next mayor is someone you disagree with? You won’t want that new mayor to have this power.

District 8 Alderman Dave Mau

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4 Responses

  1. Great letters, ladies. I will be voting “Yes” to both amendments to our Wisconsin Constitution. If there is only one thing we ought to expect government alone to do, it is to administer our elections without private, partisan actors or private, partisan funding.

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  2. It doesn’t matter if they are still doing Mail in voting. 95% of which are unconstitutional/illegal. Voting should only be IN PERSON ON ELECTION DAY. Get ready for the great steal again. It’s not who you vote for, it’s who counts the illegal votes.

    P.s.
    Voting is fake n gay

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  3. In the 2020 election, my wife received 2 ballots in the mail.

    It’s the little ways they corrupt free and fair elections.

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