Liberty Guarding the Ballot Box

Julaine Appling

2021 | Week of March 15 | Radio Transcript #1403

Elections are a sore point right now for many in our state and in other states across the country—and I get that. After this past fall’s election, the temptation is very real to just throw in the towel, wave the white flag, walk away in disgust and even vow to never vote again. That’s a temptation that must be resisted. Giving in is exactly what the liberal progressives want. They want conservatives so angry, so discouraged, so frustrated, so defeated that we simply stop fighting. Should that ever happen, we have just handed them our country without a fight, without any opposition. We simply cannot allow that; way too much is at stake.

With that understanding that it’s always too soon to quit, a discussion of election reform is imperative. In Wisconsin, the state legislature has ordered that the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau conduct a thorough audit of last November’s election. Presumably that audit is underway right now, but it will be several month’s before it is completed and the report and findings are released to the public.

Meanwhile, several packages of election-reform bills are being prepared for introduction; and one package has already been introduced and last week had a hearing in the state senate. These bills deal with absentee voting, the authority of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, money coming in from third-party organizations to municipalities for elections, voter registration rolls, and more. Because the bills are from different Republican legislators, the issues tackled and the solutions proposed are different. Finding consensus among Republicans will be a challenge, but there’s no doubt that Republicans want to see some meaningful election reform bills put on the governor’s desk and soon.  As a stark reminder, Governor Evers is likely to veto any election reform proposals the Republicans give him, which means at the state level, serious reform of our election laws and processes prior to our next major election in the fall of 2022 is unlikely.  That election, by the way, will include a governor’s race and a race for a US Senate seat.

Currently, elections are basically a state issue. Under our federalism structure, each state is responsible for conducting their own elections. The US Constitution has very little to say about elections other than the frequency of federal elections for the US House, the US Senate and of course the presidency, as well as the official date for those elections—the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of November of even-numbered years.

The Democrats with full control of the US House, the White House and of the Senate are pushing hard to federalize elections. Earlier this month the US House passed strictly along party lines H.R.1, a bill known euphemistically as the “For the People Action of 2021.”  This bill 791-page election reform bill is now in the US Senate.

The most recent edition of The Epoch Times had a lengthy article about this bill noting 30 different changes to elections laws this proposal would make. Among those changes are giving the federal government authority to administer elections, mandating automatic voter registration, preventing election officials from removing ineligible voters from registries or confirming the eligibility and qualifications of voters, banning state voter ID laws, ensuring illegal immigrants can vote, allowing sixteen-year-olds to vote, allowing felons to vote, mandating early voting, legalizing mail-in voting without photo ID, promoting “ballot harvesting,” requiring states to accept ballots 10 days after Election Day, and more.

H.R. 1 would be a dream come true for liberal progressives. While a couple of provisions in the bill have support of both conservatives and liberals, conservatives disagree with the vast majority of the bill because they see it for what it is—a usurpation of constitutionally protected states’ rights by the federal government wanting more and more control of elections.

In our state capitol rotunda is a beautiful mosaic entitled “Liberty Guarding the Ballot Box.” The artist said of this depiction, “Under a republican form of government, the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The artist was right. Today, we need to think of ourselves as “liberty” and guard the ballot box by holding our elected officials accountable for making sure every legally cast ballot counts and every illegally cast ballot doesn’t.

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

Julaine Appling has taught on the junior high, high school, and college levels, and for five years was the administrator of a private school. In 1998 she was asked to become the Executive Director of Wisconsin Family Council, where her mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty. In addition to regularly being interviewed for Wisconsin television, radio, and newspapers, she is the host of "Wisconsin Family Connection," aired weekly on almost 50 radio stations in Wisconsin including the VCY America radio network.

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