Ballot Questions for the Primary Election on May 18

Four ballot questions, including three proposed constitutional amendments, will appear on the May 18 Municipal Primary ballot. Pennsylvania voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote on this statewide ballot. You can read the ballot questions below, as well as our recommendations and reasoning for voting either “YES” or “NO.” Please tell your friends and family how important it is for them to participate in the primary this year, whether they are Democrat, Republican or Independent. Please vote on May 18, 2021! 


Proposed Amendment - Article III, Section 9

Termination or Extension of Disaster Emergency Declarations

The ballot question reads: 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?

Proposed Constitutional Amendment - Article IV

Disaster Emergency Declaration and Management

The ballot question reads: 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?

Our take on these proposed constitutional amendments:

Disaster declarations are key to protecting Pennsylvanians and delivering federal and state aid to those in need. These two ballot questions, if passed, would jeopardize the checks and balances that keep one branch of government from becoming too powerful. Vote “NO” to keep partisan gridlock out of state emergencies. 


Proposed Statewide Referendum, Act 2020-91

Making Municipal Fire and Emergency Medical Services Companies Eligible for Loans

The ballot question reads: Do you favor expanding the use of the indebtedness authorized under the referendum for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads under 35 PA.C.S. §7378.1 (related to referendum for additional indebtedness) to include loans to municipal fire departments or companies that provide services through paid personnel and emergency medical services companies for the purpose of establishing and modernizing facilities to house apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, and for purchasing apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the fire companies and emergency medical services companies?

Our take on this proposed referendum:

Currently, municipal fire departments or companies with paid personnel and emergency medical services are not authorized to apply for loans from this program. These organizations are most in need to replace outdated or unsafe equipment and buildings. This allows them to meet the increased demands for service in the communities they serve. In communities like ours, we rely on our emergency workers and equipment. Let’s give them the tools they need to continue to keep our communities safe. Vote “YES” on this important referendum.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment, Article I

Prohibition Against Denial or Abridgment of Equality of Rights Because of Race or Ethnicity

The ballot question reads: 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?

Our take on this proposed constitutional amendment:

Including this amendment within the Pennsylvania Constitution would ensure that all Pennsylvanians, regardless of race or ethnicity, are protected against discrimination. This signifies that freedom from discrimination is an essential principle of liberty and free government. We all deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of the color of our skin or where we come from. Together, we’re all Pennsylvanians. Please vote “YES” on this important amendment.