A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article about how hard it is to get to herd immunity for COVID19 with 80-85 percent of the population getting vaccinated. Well,May 18th is the 2021 Primary and we get to decide what kind of a Pennsylvania constitution we want along with choosing judges, county, municipal and school board seats.
We will be lucky to get 40 percent of the registered voters in my precinct to mail in their ballots or participate in person on election day and 28% of the folks over 18 aren’t even registered. That’s a disappointment.
The biggest reason for voting in the primary, and the only reason for independents, maybe you get to choose what kind of government you have. There are four ballot questions, three of them about changing the state constitution. I was afraid there was going to be one that asked us to let Harrisburg gerrymander the state Supreme Court, because it didn’t let them overturn the 2020 election, but that will probably be on the next ballot in November.
None of this is easy. Go to “vote411.org” for a good analysis of the questions. It seems there is always unintended consequences of new laws. The first two ballot initiatives are about taking power from the Governor during an emergency. Currently Harrisburg can stop a governor’s emergency declaration with 2/3 the vote. But these changes reduce the threshold to a majority or 50%.
My take is in an emergency situation you want to have strong leadership acting quickly. My father always said;“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” James Carvel said that Pennsylvania is really Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama and Mississippi in-between. If Pennsylvania had run the Pandemic the way Alabama and Mississippi did, we would have had another 3,500 dead.
The third amendment is about not discriminating against anyone on their ethnicity, even white people, which could make it harder to balance the playing field. And the fourth question is about opening up access to financing for the paid emergency services that only volunteer EMS and fire companies have now. Without adding money to the fund, this will make it harder for the volunteer departments to access financing.
What really worries me is we’ve got a problem, “right here in River City” and its democracy and that rhymes with autocracy. There really is a question whether our country will succeed as a democracy, or end up as an autocracy. I hope this is not the first time you have seen this red flag waved. We need viable quality candidates that will work for the betterment of the local, regional and national government.
Pick one or two candidates that speak to your condition, and offer to help them with your time and money. They can be Republican, Democrat or Independent, but if they have a vision of a better world and how to get there that is close to yours, just help them. The good news is we did pretty well in November with an increase of 17 million voters over 2016 for a turnout of 67%, and 72% of all voting age people are registered to vote, up 2%.
The bad news is an old experienced guy from down the road in Wilmington won the election and is trying to lead us to a better America by: protecting us from COVID19, getting us back to work, addressing infrastructure, the budget, and climate change.
The opposition is saying their only goal is to see him fail and they don’t believe he actually won the election or that the insurrection on January 6th was any big deal. And what did 47 state houses do after the election? They wrote hundreds of new laws that will make it harder to vote and along the way make it easier to overturn elections.
All this is done in the name of a more secure voting process. In reality, there were few instances of fraud in Pennsylvania. Recently it was reported that one Republican man in Delaware County registered his dead mother and filled out her ballot. Beyond that report,” there was no widespread fraud in the election” and that is Trump’s own Attorney General,William Barr speaking. In my view, all of these bills are there in one way or another to suppress the vote.
There is a story that is playing out as I write this. The number 3 leader of the house on the Republican side, Liz Chaney will lose her job this week because she won’t go along with the big lie that Biden lost the election. And if that is all that happened, I wouldn’t be so upset. But her party and the previous President have set up a primary where she will lose and the people of Wyoming won’t be able to vote for her to represent them in the future.
All this is because she won’t pretend to believe a lie or at least keep quiet about it. I really hope I’m wrong about this and Ms. Chaney will continue to represent her people with integrity. But the events that are transpiring have consequences and I’m afraid I’m right.
We cannot have a democracy without a strong and viable Republican party and no party can be strong if it lies to itself and its voters about something as substantial as free and fair elections.
Please build a stronger tie with your elected officials and vote. We tend to get the government we deserve. If we are paying attention and get a government as good as the people,we will be fine. Your vote really counts! For more information go to PAvoterservices.pa.gov