Wisconsin voters decide on three referendums and a court justice

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Wisconsin voters will decide on criminal justice issues, requirements for welfare recipients, and a supreme court justice. On Tuesday April 4th, the election of the Supreme Court election could derail the GOP’s near-dominance in the state. Wisconsin voters will also be looking into making amendments regarding the state constitution.

First off, the three three referendums on the ballot for Wisconsin voters are two issues with Article 1, section 8(2). The section refers to matters of a pre-trial on an individual’s conviction. The first referendum is whether or not the court should impose on an accused person being released before their conviction. The next referendum of section 8(2) is whether or not a court impose a cash bail on a person accused of a violent crime. This instance would also take into account their previous convictions for violent crimes. Both of these referendums have Wisconsin voters choose between yes or no for their decision.

The final referendum Wisconsin voters will decide on requirements for welfare recipients receiving benefits. The issue is whether or not childless, able-bodied adults should actively look for work in order to receive welfare benefits. However, this is a statewide advisory referendum to help legislators decide on making a committee addressing the issue.

Alisa Von Hagel, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Superior explained more about these referendums. “There have been claims that this is a way to essentially circumvent that inevitable veto; and so other issue areas that Republicans are very active in pursuing and want to go this route and attempt to circumvent a potential veto.” Von Hagel said. “It is widely reflected that passage of either of these amendments would simply align constitutionally what judges already do in practice. Judges do have latitude with respect to non-monetary requirements for defendants before trial. Many say that this is not necessary, but this is simply a way to align the Constitution with practice.”

Finally, Wisconsin voters will need to look at both candidates running for Supreme Court, Dan Kelly and Janet Protasiewich. Judge Kelly is the conservative candidate while Protasiewich is the liberal candidate. Professor Von Hagel said this judicial race is not only significant regarding the state supreme court but also one of the most expensive campaigns. “So this is been by far the most expensive judicial race, I think, that we’ve ever had. A week out from the election, there has been 37 million spent by campaigns and outside spending by outside groups. That blows out of the water records for previous judicial elections in the state and across the country.” Von Hagel said.

Von Hagel also had some advice for finding more information about the referendums and candidates. “League of Women Voters provides that kind of information as well as other similar types of organizations, and they very clearly outline what they see to be the results or the potential outcomes of a yes vote versus a no vote.” Von Hagel said. For more Wisconsin voters information you can look here. For more details about the debate between Judge Dan Kelly and Judge Janet Protasiewich you can look here.