By Eelisa Jones
Early voting began this Monday for the Wisconsin 2014 General Election. Milwaukee residents are now able to visit Zeidler Municipal Building at 841 N Broadway on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. to cast their votes. The final day for early voting is Oct. 31. In addition to the election of over half a dozen political officials, the 2014 General Election ballot contains referendums relating to transportation funds, health care, the dissolution of corporate status as individuals, the potential regulation of political contributions, and the replacement of an elected official to a hired professional as the head administrator of Milwaukee County.
In the 2014 General Election, Milwaukee residents will be participating in the election of their Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Representative in Congress, State Senator (in odd-number districts), Representatives to the Assembly, County Sheriffs, Circuit Court Clerk.
The ballot will include five referendums – one state and four county.
The state referendum asks citizens if they support the restriction of transportation revenue (from taxes and fees) to distribution only to the transportation fund. Historically, transportation revenue has been available to fund state programs in fields like health and education. A “no” vote for the state referendum would mean that revenue from transportation-related fees and taxes would remain available for non-transportation-related programs. A “yes” vote would mean that transportation revenue could only be used for transportation-related programs.
The county referendum on corporation and campaign financing (question one) asks for support in creating a constitutional amendment that would disqualify corporations as having constitutional rights and establish a separation between money and free speech – allowing the regulation of political contributions. A “no” vote for the first referendum would mean corporations would remain recipients of constitutional rights and political contributions could not be constitutionally regulated. A “yes” vote would mean that corporations would lose their status as individuals and political contributions could be regulated by law.
The county referendum on Badgercare (question 2) asks for support for accepting federal funds for state health care coverage. A “no” vote would deny federal funding. A “yes” vote would allow federal funding.
The county referendum on the establishment of a higher minimum wage (question 3) asks for support in raising the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. A “no” vote would establish a $10.10 minimum wage. A “yes” vote would maintain the minimum wage at $7.25.
The county referendum on the County Executive/County Administrator asks for support in transferring county management and administrative functions from an elected executive from a non-elected professional. A “yes” vote would establish a county administrator position that is not determined through an election process. A “no” vote would maintain the selection of a county executive as elected by Milwaukee citizens.
Voting prior to Nov. 4 may be of interest to individuals who are looking to avoid the bustle and long lines that inevitably accompany the polls on Election Day. The Oct. 9 Supreme Court decision to block the requirement of an ID still stands. No identification is necessary in the 2014 General Election.