Lebanon County was the last county out of 67 to go “Green” as a result of disobeying PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s unilateral edicts. They did not disobey by hosting and leading a BLM parade against the police as Wolf did, they simply declared that following all CDC guidelines struggling businesses, as a result of Wolf’s edicts, would be permitted to reopen. Wolf then withheld $13M in federal funding from Lebanon County as an additional punishment.
On May 18, two amendments will be on Pennsylvania’s primary ballot. One limits emergency declarations to 21 days and requires legislative approval for any extension. The other allows the legislature to end an emergency declaration by majority vote.
Pennsylvanians will get their chance to take back power from a governor who has overstepped his bounds. Except there’s one big problem: Wolf’s administration crafts the language for ballot measures, and he has put his thumb on the scale to confuse voters and keep his hold on power. Indeed, the wording of the ballot questions would make a typical voter think the legislature was stripping the governor of the ability to respond to a crisis and giving itself unilateral power.
The deceptive language has sparked reaction across the state. Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, has said the ballot question wording does not enable voters to make an informed decision: “The most basic rules of question construction are commonsensical: form a question that is easy to understand, uses everyday language, uses words with clear and specific meanings, and is as short as possible.” Yost says the questions use “loaded terminology” and lack clarifying context.