Boots & Sabers

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Owen

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0722, 19 Mar 24

Two amendments to protect our elections

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

The reason these amendments are on the ballot is troubling. Even though our system of government is replete with checks and balances at every level, we remain largely dependent on people willingly following the law without the need for coercion.

 

Increasingly we are seeing government officials at all levels willfully violate the law because they have realized that there are few consequences for them doing so. We saw this phenomenon in full display during the pandemic as laws were ignored, civil rights were suppressed, and official restraint was abandoned for the sake of “safety.”

 

This was particularly true for election laws. In Wisconsin, election officials illegally collected ballots in parks, plopped unsecured ballot collection ballots all over the place, ignored voter ID requirements, accepted invalid mailed in ballots, turned over the administration of elections to private activists, and generally ignored, violated, or invented laws and regulations at their whim. With rare exception, all of the election officials who ran roughshod over our lawful election processes remain at their posts and have escaped any negative consequences for their actions. In our late-stage republic, leftists have discovered that they can implement their will through the power of the bureaucracy without the annoyance of needing to win elections or pass legislation. With a bit of gumption and an accomplice executive branch, even a banal local bureaucrat can wield enormous, unchecked power and citizens are left with few legal recourses.

 

For these and other reasons, the Republicans in the Legislature have begun to ask the voters to amend the Constitution to reflect the will of the people in the hope that the Constitution will be more difficult to ignore or violate than statutes. With our current activist leftist Supreme Court, this plan is not foolproof, but at least it provides an avenue for citizens to insist that their government obey their governing document.

 

On the ballot next month are two proposed constitutional amendments that are a direct response to leftist election officials manipulating recent elections and the failure of law enforcement to hold them accountable.

 

[…]

 

I truly wish that we did not need resort to constitutional amendments to provide safeguards for our elections. Laws and regulations should do. Unfortunately, experience has taught us that laws and regulations are not enough. We need to install every possible safeguard to protect our elections from the incompetent and the nefarious.

 

Please vote “yes” on both proposed amendments. Wisconsin will be better for it.

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0722, 19 March 2024

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