Elections Matter & Every Vote Matters

Elections Matter & Every Vote Matters

2020 | Week of February 10 | Radio Transcript #1346

What will you be doing next Tuesday, February 18? I hope your smartphone calendar or the one you keep on your refrigerator or desk has the word vote on it in all capital letters followed by at least one exclamation point!

Next Tuesday is the first of the four major elections we will have in Wisconsin this year. This coming Tuesday, February 18, is our Spring nonpartisan primary election. The spring general election is on Tuesday, April 7, and on Tuesday, August 11, we have our fall partisan primary, followed by the fall general election on Tuesday, November 3.

Back to the first of these elections. No matter where you live in Wisconsin, you need to go vote because every ballot everywhere in the state will have on it a race for a seat on Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Three candidates are running for a ten-year term on our state’s highest court. The incumbent, the current office holder, is Justice Dan Kelly. He is being challenged by Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky. The top two vote-getters from the results of the primary on February 18 will then go head to head in the general spring election on Tuesday, April 7.

You might recall the very high-profile, vitriolic race we had last year when Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer squared off to fill the open seat on the court when long-serving Justice Shirley Abrahamson decided not to run again. Ultimately, conservative jurist Brian Hagedorn won, but in the process he was viciously maligned for being a Christian and for having the audacity to actually live out his Christian faith in his personal life and in his personal writings done prior to becoming a judge. Essentially, Justice Hagedorn’s religious freedom was viciously attacked.

This year’s race could end up being similar. Court observers note that Justice Daniel Kelly has some of the same so-called baggage Justice Hagedorn had. Conventional wisdom is that any direct attacks on any of the candidates will likely come after next Tuesday’s primary once the field is whittled from three to two.

Wisconsin Family Council knows getting information on judicial candidates is challenging. For that reason, we have prepared an educational voter information publication for this race. It is suitable for distribution in churches, meaning it meets IRS guidelines for that purpose. You can get print copies of this voter information publication two ways. You can download it and print it from our website at wifamilycouncil.org, that’s wifamilycouncil.org or you can call our office at 888-378-7395 and we can mail you copies.

What kind of information will you find in this Voter information Publication? We have information about the current positions these candidates hold and their legal experience. We also include major endorsements each candidate has received. For instance, Ed Fallone, an associate professor at Marquette Law School, has received endorsements from Voces de la Frontera, the immigration advocates in Wisconsin, Black Leaders Organizing in Communities, a Milwaukee organization, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Jill Karofsky, a Dane County circuit court judge, has endorsements from Women Lead, current Supreme Court justice Rebecca Dallet and former governor Jim Doyle. Both Fallone and Karofsky have been endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, Unit 212. Daniel Kelly has been endorsed by current WI Supreme Court justices Brian Hagedorn and Rebecca Bradley, as well as by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life and Wisconsin Family Action.

While this Supreme Court race is incredibly important, you might have other local races on your ballot next Tuesday. To find out exactly what is on your ballot visit myvote.wi.gov. Sample ballots are now available there.

Early in-person voting is well underway across our state right now and ending at the close of business this Friday, February 14. Check with your municipal clerk for the exact days and hours early voting is available in your community.

The spring elections are mostly about local offices, such as mayor, city or common councils, town or village boards, county supervisors, school boards and judges at all levels, from municipal to district to appellate to supreme court.  Primaries are notoriously low-voter-turnout elections, which is unfortunate, because every election is important, every vote is important, and every election has consequences. Be sure you are ready to cast a knowledgeable and responsible vote in this upcoming primary so that you do your part in ensuring the consequences of this election are good for you, your family, your neighbors and the entire state.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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