Pennsylvania Secretary of State Resigns over Bungled Ballot Initiative

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Resigns over Bungled Ballot
Initiative 1

Democrat Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar said she would resign by the end of this week after her office failed to advertise under state law a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution to protect alleged child sexual abuse victims.

The amendment would have opened a two-year litigation window for child sex abuse survivors who have aged out of the statute of limitations, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

State law requires proposed amendments to pass the state legislature before they are put before the voters as a ballot initiative.

The Pennsylvania Department of State is required by state law to place newspaper advertisements outlining such ballot initiatives.

Although lawmakers passed the initiative in 2019 and were about to pass it again in 2020, the state agency failed to place the advertisements about the initiative in the newspaper, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This means the process has to start from scratch unless lawmakers pass legislation with the same two-year window.

“The delay caused by this human error will be heartbreaking for thousands of survivors of childhood sexual assault, advocates and legislators, and I join the Department of State in apologizing to you,” Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, who announced Boockvar’s resignation, said in a statement.

“I share your anger and frustration that this happened, and I stand with you in your fight for justice,” he added.

The Department of State also apologized Monday for the lack of oversight, calling the act “simple human error.”

Wolf appointed Boockvar in January 2019 after she previously served as the governor’s senior adviser on modernizing election procedures.

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