Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Wisconsin residents vote in favor of GOP-backed ballot measures on election rules

By 37ci3 Apr3,2024

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday approved a pair of Republican-backed constitutional amendments that would change how elections are held in the critical battleground state, according to Associated Press projections.

The first measure, listed as Question 1 on the ballot, would ban the use of private funds in the election administration — often derided by conservatives as “Zuckerbucks.”

The second measure, Question 2, narrows the role and definition of an election worker. Specifically, the measure asked voters to decide that “only statutory election officials may perform duties in the conduct of primaries, elections and referenda.”

Opponents say the measures are the result of baseless conspiracy theories following Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, and that their passage would create obstacles to the smooth running of Wisconsin’s elections this fall, helping to tip the balance in the presidential election as well as the results. they claimed to do. Power in the US Senate.

Proponents said the first measure would effectively ban “dark money” from elections, while the second would help clarify and simplify election administration.

The ballot measures are rooted in unsubstantiated claims by Donald Trump’s allies about the outcome of the 2020 election.

During that election, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg donated $400 million to two nonprofit groups to help hire poll workers and buy protective gear to protect people from getting sick in the heart of the Covid pandemic. The Center for Tech and Civic Life, a group funded largely by grants from Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, gave $10 million to Wisconsin officials that year.

Many Republicans in Wisconsin and across the U.S. falsely claimed the money helped boost Democratic turnout in 2020. Biden swept the state after Trump won it four years ago.

Democrats in the state urged voters to oppose both measures, while Republicans rallied for them. High-profile Republicans from the state and elsewhere, including the office of Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. participated in an attempt to deliver fake voter materials To Vice President Mike Pence and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on January 6, 2021 made false claims Widespread fraud during the 2020 election – in recent days has cut off videos supporting both events.

But unlike other spring races in the purple state in recent years, the ballot measures have not attracted the attention and spending of outside groups.

Even opponents predicted a pass, saying the sleepy, low-turnout primary — which happens after both major parties have actually chosen their nominees — would leave supporters committed to the measures to turn out just for them.

“Wisconsin has low voter turnout in the April election, and not many people are going to watch it. [closely]. Maybe they’ll read it and think, ‘yeah, that sounds reasonable,'” Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin, the state chapter of the national nonpartisan government watchdog group, said before the results. “But both are products of election denial.”

Their impact could be remarkable, Heck suggested. Additional funding has been cut and the scope of who election workers can volunteer has been narrowed, with the possibility of additional conspiracies and chaos during and after another close race this fall — the state’s last two presidential elections, both decided by less than 23,000 votes. sound – can be more.

“If the Legislature does not fully fund election administration, which the Republican-controlled Legislature never did and will not do, it deprives election clerks throughout Wisconsin of the resources to conduct elections,” he said.

After Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed attempts to pass legislation to achieve the same results, Republicans in the Legislature took the measures directly to voters. Wisconsin is one of the few states where lawmakers refer proposed constitutional changes to the ballot for voters to decide. In other states, voters can try to place such measures directly on the ballot through signature-gathering processes.

according to National Conference of State Legislaturesat least 27 other states have taken action to “prohibit, limit, or regulate the use of private or philanthropic financing to conduct elections” since the 2020 election.

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By 37ci3

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