Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar will resign from her position Friday after the department failed to advertise a constitutional amendment.
The proposed amendment to the constitution would extend the time allowed for victims of abuse to file civil charges against their abusers, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office said in a Monday press release. The Department of State was required to advertise the proposed amendment in two newspapers in every county. However, because the department failed to do so, the process to implement the amendment now has to start from the beginning.
“This change at the Department of State has nothing to do with the administration of the 2020 election, which was fair and accurate,” Wolf said in a statement. “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. I share your anger and frustration that this happened, and I stand with you in your fight for justice.” (RELATED: There Will Not Be A Recount, Says Pennsylvania Secretary Of The Commonwealth)
PA Secretary. of State Kathy Boockvar: “is expected to resign her position after her agency’s staff discovered a mistake that will block voters from deciding this spring whether to allow survivors of decades-old sexual abuse to sue the perpetrators.” https://t.co/TbZn23Bu3t
— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) February 1, 2021
In addition to Boockvar’s departure, the Department of State will increase tracking and notifications for constitutional amendments, according to the governor’s office. Wolf also asked the Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector General to review the situation and offer additional recommendations to improve the amendment process.
“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished for the people of Pennsylvania,” Boockvar said in the press release. “I’ve always believed that accountability and leadership must be a cornerstone of public service. While I only became aware of the mistake last week, and immediately took steps to alert the administration to the error, I accept responsibility on behalf of the department.”
Veronica Degraffenreid, who served as the Department of State’s special advisor on election modernization, will serve as acting Secretary of State.