/ Articles / Two citizen referenda to appear on April 7 ballots

Two citizen referenda to appear on April 7 ballots

Public info meetings will be held on March 19

April 17, 2020

Two non-binding referenda will be on the April 7 ballot in the city of Eagle River and the towns of Arbor Vitae, Boulder Junction, Lac du Flambeau, Manitowish Waters, Phelps, Plum Lake, Presque Isle, and Winchester in Vilas County, and in the city of Rhinelander and the towns of Pine Lake, Crescent, Pelican, Woodruff, Hazelhurst, Lake Tomahawk and Newbold in Oneida County.

One referendum concerns replacing Wisconsin’s partisan gerrymandering with a nonpartisan process similar to the one that has been used in Iowa for several decades. The other concerns a constitutional amendment that would allow campaign finance reform. It seeks to overturn a 2010 Supreme Court decision that held that corporations and unions are guaranteed free speech and money is speech, so they can spend unlimited money on campaigns. Lake Tomahawk in Oneida county will vote only on nonpartisan redistricting question. Plum Lake of Vilas County and Newbold of Oneida will vote on the proposal that only human beings having constitutional rights and money not speech.

Referendum Question: Should Wisconsin legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for preparation of legislative and congressional redistricting maps after each census.

Referendum Question: Should U S Constitution be amended to state only human beings are endowed with constitutional rights — not corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities, and money is not speech, and therefore limiting political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting speech.

To help citizens understand the referenda, Matt Rothschild, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, will be speaking and answering questions about both referenda. These public information meetings will be held on Thursday, March 19 in the following locations: Rhinelander City Hall at 10 a.m., Eagle River Olson Library at 2 p.m., and Woodruff Town Hall at 6 p.m.

In order for the referenda to be on the ballots in Eagle River and Rhinelander, volunteers with the non-profit Fair Elections Project and Wisconsin United to Amend presented to the city councils petitions with enough signatures for the referendum questions to be on their ballots. Volunteers also petitioned several town boards in Vilas and Oneida county. The result is that on April 7, referenda will be on the ballot of fifteen municipalities representing 58% of the registered voters in Oneida County and 56% of registered voters in Vilas County.

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