October 18, 2023

The PA General Assembly’s failure to move the primary date spotlights political dysfunction

Efforts to move Pennsylvania's 2024 presidential primary date appear to have reached a legislative impasse, leaving the commonwealth as the only state with an April 23 election that conflicts with Passover. Business for America | Pennsylvania finds lawmaker’s inability to find common ground on this measure profoundly disappointing. Businesses, their employees, and all voters across the commonwealth deserve better. 

This failure further illustrates how the erosion of our civic health is reaching crisis levels. If compromise on sensible matters is no longer possible, how will our elected leaders meet Pennsylvania's most pressing issues?

Pennsylvania is expected to impact the outcome of the 2024 elections significantly. As the sixth largest economy in the United States, the commonwealth plays a vital role in the national political landscape, underscored by its status as a key battleground state. Pennsylvania voters deserve to have their voices shape the outcomes of this all-important process. 

Earlier this year, BFA and our Pennsylvania network of purpose-driven companies and business leaders urged the General Assembly to advance this common-sense measure because greater civic participation and voter turnout will help restore trust in our elections and democratic institutions. This initiative would’ve allowed Pennsylvania voters to play a more prominent role in the presidential nominating process and preserved accessibility to commonwealth voters who observe the Passover holiday.

Now Keystone State voters will lose the chance to make a difference in what is certain to be a consequential primary election. This result is disheartening for democracy and the economy. When citizens believe their voices matter and can influence decisions, they are more likely to engage in the political process, invest in their communities, stay informed about important issues, and participate in civic activities. It’s a missed opportunity we can’t recapture.

We thank Senators Dave Argall (R-29) and Sharif Street (D-3) and Representatives Malcolm Kenyatta (D-181) and Jared Solomon (D-202) for their leadership on this issue.

The Business for America | Pennsylvania mission is more crucial than ever. Business leaders are uniquely positioned to spark the bipartisan collaboration needed to strengthen our democratic institutions and deliver pragmatic policy innovations that bolster economic growth and investment.

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About Business for America
Business for America is a nonpartisan nonprofit business membership organization advancing solutions to boost civic engagement, reduce political polarization, and modernize government. A well-functioning democracy will foster a more competitive, innovative business climate in America. Businesses interested in getting involved can learn more at bfa.us.