We have a pivotal election less than a month away, and on the ballot, you will be asked two referendum questions about how elections run in Wisconsin. These two ballot questions would change the Wisconsin Constitution if they passed. The ACLU of Wisconsin opposes both referendum questions, and we’ll tell you why.

Here’s the first question: 

"Use of private funds in election administration. Shall section 7 (1) of article III of the constitution be created to provide that private donations and grants may not be applied for, accepted, expended, or used in connection with the conduct of any primary, election, or referendum?"

Here’s the second question:

"Election officials. Shall section 7 (2) of article III of the constitution be created to provide that only election officials designated by law may perform tasks in the conduct of primaries, elections, and referendums?"

And here’s why you should vote ‘no’ on these questions:

Elections are underfunded

Local municipalities run Wisconsin's local, state, and federal elections on shoestring budgets. Grants banned by this proposal have provided a lifeline to help clerks pay for equipment, polling place rental, poll workers, and supplies to protect your right to vote and make elections run smoothly and securely. 

Vague language creates uncertainty 

The language in these amendments needs to be clarified. As written, it could prevent election officials from using polling places in non-public buildings or even using tables, chairs, electrical outlets, or any other equipment or facilities present at polling places that are privately owned, such as churches, private school buildings, community centers, or other privately owned locations. 

So what’s the solution? Publicly funding elections, NOT amending the Constitution.

Our democracy depends on local election officials having the staff and resources to do their jobs. The same politicians who put these questions on the ballot stripped millions in funding from the state budget to support election administration.

Vote to preserve our constitution. Vote to protect our right to vote. Vote No.