Harrisburg, Pa. - Voters are being asked to approve or deny changes to the commonwealth’s constitution, addressing issues from a governor’s emergency powers, to race equality.
All voters, regardless of political affiliation, will be able to vote on four proposed changes to the state constitution, a result of many events from the past year.
This means registered Independents, members of the Green party, Republicans, Democrats; all are able to have their say this election on these questions.
This particular primary election is different because historically, only members of the Republican or Democratic parties would vote in primary elections to nominate their candidates for various offices.
While third party members are able to vote on the proposed changes to the state constitution, they will not likely see any candidate names, other than the questions on the amendment, mainly because third parties, at least in Pa., typically do not have third party candidates on the primary election ballot.
Third party voters will only be able to vote yes or no on the questions pertaining to the constitutional amendments.
These particular amendments are significant because, ultimately, it will lessen the powers of any Pa. governor, not just Wolf, to extend or manage emergency declarations, which have always been under a governor’s purview in Pennsylvania.
Voters will be able to vote yes or no on the following questions:
Pennsylvania Question 1, the Legislative Resolution to Extend or Terminate Emergency Declaration Amendment, is on the ballot in Pennsylvania as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment in May 18, 2021.
A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to allow the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass a resolution, which the governor cannot veto, by a simple majority to extend or terminate the governor's emergency declaration.
A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, meaning that the governor would continue to be allowed to veto resolutions terminating emergency declarations and a two-thirds legislative vote would be required to override the veto.
A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to limit the governor's emergency declaration to 21 days unless the legislature votes on a concurrent resolution to extend the order and provide that the state legislature shall pass laws related to how disaster emergencies must be managed.
A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, meaning the governor would continue to be allowed to issue emergency declarations without a legislative vote after 21 days.
A "yes" vote supports adding language to the state constitution that prohibits the denial or abridgement of rights on account of an individual's race or ethnicity.
A "no" vote opposes adding language to the state constitution that prohibits the denial or abridgement of rights on account of an individual's race or ethnicity.
A "yes" vote supports expanding the state's loan program for volunteer fire companies and ambulance services to also include municipal fire companies and EMS services.
A "no" vote opposes expanding the state's loan program, meaning the program would remain available to volunteer fire companies and ambulance services but not municipal fire companies and EMS services.