Primary Election Ballot Questions

DON’T BE FOOLED!

What a YES vote means…

Biased Wording of Ballot Questions Threatens to Torpedo Constitutional Amendments

This primary election, voters will have the opportunity to cast their vote on proposed constitutional amendments that will affect our local community, including our children’s education and the survival of our local small businesses. 

The language on the ballot is very misleading, which could result in voter confusion. Instead of simply notifying voters what the amendments would do, politically charged language was developed that not only scares Pennsylvanians, but more importantly confuses voters into casting a vote that they would not normally choose.

Ballot Question 1

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law and increase the power of the General Assembly to unilaterally terminate or extend a disaster emergency declaration—and the powers of Commonwealth agencies to address the disaster regardless of its severity pursuant to that declaration—through passing a concurrent resolution by simple majority, thereby removing the existing check and balance of presenting a resolution to the Governor for approval or disapproval?

YES Vote Means

A majority of state lawmakers, elected by the people, can vote to end emergency declarations and restrictions on citizens.

NO Vote Means

A governor can unilaterally continue emergency restrictions indefinitely even if a legislative majority votes to end them.

Ballot Question 2

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to change existing law so that: a disaster emergency declaration will expire automatically after 21 days, regardless of the severity of the emergency, unless the General Assembly takes action to extend the disaster emergency; the Governor may not declare a new disaster emergency to respond to the dangers facing the Commonwealth unless the General Assembly passes a concurrent resolution; the General Assembly enacts new laws for disaster management?

YES Vote Means

Emergency declarations are limited to 21 days unless the General Assembly, elected by the people, approves longer.

NO Vote Means

Governor unilaterally can extend declarations, business closures & restrictions indefinitely.

Ballot Question 3

Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended by adding a new section providing that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of an individual’s race or ethnicity?

YES Vote Means

The Pennsylvania Constitution would prohibit the denial of equal rights based on race or ethnicity.

NO Vote Means

The Pennsylvania Constitution would continue to lack these protections as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

 

Limiting Emergency Powers Is NOT a Partisan Issue

Although the debate about these amendments started with the governor’s handling of the pandemic, the issue should not be decided on partisan lines.

These changes would apply to all future governors – both Republicans and Democrats – and all future emergencies.