By Emily Owsiany
Whenever a local election rolls around, organizers struggle to encourage voters to get out and have their voices heard. Local elections are just as important as the presidential election, if not more. This is the community’s opportunity to elect local officials that support their values and beliefs. This year, Philadelphia’s primary election had a voter turnout of less than 20%, compared to the estimated 76% of those who voted in the presidential elections in 2020. However, Larry Krasner, the incumbent, had no problem winning over Carlos Vega for District Attorney. Philadelphians preferred Krasner’s progressive approach to reforming the criminal justice system over Vega’s support and backing of the Fraternal Order of Police, the city’s police union. Krasner will run against Charles Peruto in November and is likely to stay the DA of Philadelphia.
Four important questions were asked on the ballot for all voters this election.
Question 1: Emergency Disaster Declarations
Voters supported this amendment to the state constitution which allows state lawmakers to terminate the governor’s emergency declaration with a simple majority. Republicans supported this bill in response to Governor Wolf’s handling of Covid-19.
Question 2: Emergency Declarations Limited to 21 Days
Voters also supported this amendment similar to the previous one. Emergency declarations are now limited to 21 days and then will need legislative approval to be extended. Formerly, the declaration lasted for 90 days and the governor did not need legislative approval to be extended.
Question 3: Protecting Rights Based on Race or Ethnicity
About 75% of voters marked “yes” in response to amedning the PA State Constituion to clearly outlaw racial and or ethnic discrimination, making it illegal to deny or restrict one’s rights due to their race or ethnicity.
Question 4: First Responder Funding
Over 70% of voters backed a referendum which would allow all firefighters and other first responders, both paid and volunteers, to apply for state loans.