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Politics & Government

Milwaukee County Ballot Includes Move to Amend Referendum

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One referendum question on the November ballot here urges Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution.Supporters of the referendum question want to override the Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United.

The change would declare that corporations are not human beings and money is not speech.

The 2010 high court ruling gave corporations and unions the right to spend as money as they want, convincing people to vote or against a candidate.

Mary Laan lives in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood. She says she was crestfallen by the Supreme Court decision.

"I was thinking about moving to a another country, I thought this was end of democracy, because it just seemed like our vote didn't count anymore that money was more important," Laan says.

Instead of leaving, Laan joined forces with a local chapter of Move to Amend that is seeking to overturn the Citizens United decision.

This is the third time supporters have sought to put the question on the ballot. Twice, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele vetoed its inclusion.

Supervisor Mark Borkowski wishes it would have been bumped again, citing additional costs of up to $100,000 to include multiple referenda on the local ballot.

Borkowski says since the results will be advisory, the public's response won't carry any clout.

"It'll be nice to know where Milwaukee County comes down, but will it make any difference? Put some teeth on it, make it binding, then you've got something," Borkowski says.

So far, voters in 16 states have requested a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United.

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