Amendment should be slam dunk

While much attention has been focused on the first two ballot questions voters will face at the polls on Tuesday, a third question has not received as much attention — but deserves widespread voter approval nonetheless.

Ballot Question Three would prohibit the denial or abridgment of equal rights because of race or ethnicity.

It asks: “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?”

To that, we say, vote yes and approve this amendment to the state constitution.

This amendment applies to local, county and state governments and is independent from similar rights provided in the U.S. Constitution.

It gives state voters the ability to signify within the state constitution that “freedom from discrimination based on race or ethnicity is an essential principle of liberty and free government,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

In this age when the issue of race and ethnicity has been at the forefront in our nation, it is appropriate that Pennsylvania voters get behind this question and signify their support for their fellow person, regardless of complexion or ethnic background.

Equality should be the right of every human being, regardless of a circumstance of birth.

Our hope is that it would receive unanimous voter approval, but that would require every voter to not only vote “yes” but also, simply, to cast a ballot.

But how symbolic would it be if voter apathy could be overcome during Tuesday’s primary in order to pass this important ballot question and support, at least symbolically, all members of our communities.

All registered voters — including Independents and third-party voters — get to cast ballots on this and three other questions, regardless of political affiliation.

We urge everyone who is registered to get out and vote on Tuesday. Remember, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Please make it a point to vote — and vote yes.


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