Dane County Ballot Question, Is It A Lie? [Updated]

It appears to me that the question on abortion on the Dane County’s November ballot is a lie, am I incorrect?

Here is a screen shot of the non-binding ballot advisory question about abortion.

I got that screen shot from the sample ballot posted on the Village of Oregon website.

The sample question referenced Wisconsin Statute 940.04, so I did what all good voters should do and actually looked it up so I know exactly what they are referencing. Here is a screen shot of the actual statute.

If I’m reading 940.04 Section (5)(a)(b)(c) correctly it allows abortion to save the life of the mother which seems to completely contradict the ballot question as being “without exception” specifically regarding “health of the patient”.  It appears to me that the question on abortion on Dane County’s November ballot is an intentional lie!

I’m not a lawyer, so if I’m incorrect someone please explain how I’m incorrect.

Shouldn’t an advisory question on an official ballot accurately represent the existing law that they’re trying to repeal, or is intentionally lying to voters how they manipulate voters to get their end result?

[Updates]
Update 1: I notified the Oregon Village Clerk about this issue via email.

Update 2: I also submitted a toned-down “Letter to the Editor” at the Wisconsin State Journal about this issue, you can read it in a comment below.

Update 3: I also emailed all the TV stations in Madison, WI and all the Dane County Supervisors, you can read that email in a comment below.

Update 4: I also sent emails to a few Madison area bloggers. One blogger included it in a blog post and another one replied to me via email writing…

“Life and health are usually stated separately because many people believe there should be a life exception but not a health exception, but I can see how it might confuse people, but I wouldn’t call it ‘false.'”

So because some people believe that life and health are usually stated separately it’s okay to write something in an publicly distributed ballot that people are actually going to vote on that might confuse people? I consider the blogger’s reply to be an unethical rationalization, here is a list of Unethical Rationalizations and Misconceptions.

I replied to the blogger’s email…

There are lots of things that fall within the “health of the patient” and the life of the patient certainly falls within that grouping.  Clearly I consider the “life of the patient” to be grouped within the “health of the patient” and I think any reasonable human being would. Even if what you say is true the ballot question, as worded, is still at best intentionally misleading and at worst an intentional lie, why do I say that, if people didn’t do exactly what I did and go read the actual law prior to entering the voting booth they wouldn’t know that it has a specific exception for the life of the patient even though the ballot question specifically states “without exception”. 

Again, regardless of anyone’s personal opinion on abortion, shouldn’t an advisory question on an official ballot presented to voters accurately represent the existing law that they’re trying to repeal? This question does not do that!

Under the conditions I’ve stated above, don’t you think the public should be informed of this glaring misrepresentation?

Update 5: I sent the Vicki McKenna Show a message about this via Facebook Messenger.

5 thoughts on “Dane County Ballot Question, Is It A Lie? [Updated]

  1. Here is my “Letter to the Editor” at the Wisconsin State Journal; of course I was a bit less in-your-face about my opinion that it was an intentional lie so maybe they would print it, plus I was limited to 200 words. Hopefully they will print it and notify the public.

    As I do for every election, I checked out the sample ballot so I’m up to date on what I’m voting for. When I checked out the sample ballot for next Tuesday’s election I noticed something disturbing, the Dane County advisory question on the ballot about abortion appears to be inaccurate, as in false. The question currently reads…

    “Should Wisconsin Statute 940.04, which bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy without exception for rape, incest, or health of the patient, be repealed to ensure legal access to abortion care?”

    Wisconsin Statute 940.04
    (5) This section does not apply to a therapeutic abortion which:
    (a) Is performed by a physician; and
    (b) Is necessary, or is advised by 2 other physicians as necessary, to save the life of the mother; and
    (c) Unless an emergency prevents, is performed in a licensed maternity hospital.

    If I’m reading 940.04 Section (5)(a)(b)(c) correctly it allows abortion to save the life of the mother which contradicts the ballot question as being “without exception” specifically regarding “health of the patient”.

    Shouldn’t an advisory question on an official ballot presented to voters accurately represent the existing law that they’re trying to repeal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just sent the following email to Channel 3, 15 & 27 TV stations in Madison along with all the Dane County Supervisors.

    As I do for every election, I checked out the sample ballot so I’m up to date on what I’m voting for. When I checked out the sample ballot for next Tuesday’s election I noticed something disturbing, the Dane County advisory question on the ballot about abortion appears to be inaccurate, as in false. The question on the ballot currently reads…

    “Should Wisconsin Statute 940.04, which bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy without exception for rape, incest, or health of the patient, be repealed to ensure legal access to abortion care?”

    Wisconsin Statute 940.04
    (5) This section does not apply to a therapeutic abortion which:
    (a) Is performed by a physician; and
    (b) Is necessary, or is advised by 2 other physicians as necessary, to save the life of the mother; and
    (c) Unless an emergency prevents, is performed in a licensed maternity hospital.

    If I’m reading 940.04 Section (5)(a)(b)(c) correctly it allows abortion to save the life of the mother which contradicts the ballot question as being “without exception” specifically regarding “health of the patient”.

    Regardless of your opinion on abortion, shouldn’t an advisory question on an official ballot presented to voters accurately represent the existing law that they’re trying to repeal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for doing this. I also sent it to WILL, but no action. I would presume because they know a challenge would first be heard by a Dane County judge, but also because there may not be any direct state statute that stops an advisory referendum question from being a lie. So that would presumably be the course of action to ensure in statute that a county board can’t just lie on the ballot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There really isn’t anything that anyone can do to actually change the ballots at this point in time because it’s simply too late, but if the local news stations, the Wisconsin State Journal, radio stations and area bloggers get the word out at least some of the voting public will know about this misrepresenting lie.

      I’m reasonably sure that the Dane County Supervisors will do absolutely nothing to inform the public about their misrepresenting lie.

      If the Dane County Board of Supervisors use the votes on this misrepresenting lie of an advisory referendum to support their virtue signaling on abortion then they’re unethical and immoral political hacks.

      Like

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