Campaign Financing System Petition Needs You

County Council Resolution 1-22 proposed an amendment to the County Charter to establish an optional public campaign financing system for candidates for Anne Arundel County Executive and County Council. County Council failed to pass the resolution, denying county voters the opportunity to decide for themselves this November.

Your help is needed to get the 10,000 signatures required to have the public campaign finance amendment on the ballot in November. Please click here to download the petition. It's important to print the petition so that it is double-sided, with the signature spaces on one side, and the amendment text on the other. One sheet has spaces for 5 signatures. Please ask Anne Arundel County registered voters in your household, workplace and community to sign the petition. As the petition circulator, you will complete the information at the bottom of the form.

Mail the completed form(s) to Abby Root, LWVAAC Action, P. O. Box 35, Arnold, MD 21012.

The goal is to collect the required number of signatures by the end of June so each can be verified and the petition process completed by August. 

Read on for more information about the petition. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

In February, the LWVAAC supported County Council Resolution 1-22, an amendment to the County Charter to require the establishment of a public campaign financing system for candidates for County Executive and the County Council. If passed by a super majority (at least 5 of the 7 Council members), the proposed amendment to the Charter would have appeared on the November 2022 ballot to let the voters decide. Unfortunately, the resolution did not pass. As a result, a petition drive to put the question on the November ballot is underway with the guidance of several organizations, including LWVAAC, Progressive Maryland, and Common Cause, and supported by a $75,000 grant.

Voluntary for candidates, this amendment seeks to level the playing field for candidates who may not have big donors. LWVAAC’s support for public campaign financing is based on the conclusions of a national public campaign financing study conducted by the League of Women Voters of the United States. A public financing system requires candidates to raise money from a large number of small contributors rather than a few large donors. Improved methods of financing political campaigns work to ensure the public’s right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office, and promote citizen participation in the political process.

Public campaign financing enables more candidates from diverse backgrounds to run for office; it amplifies the voices of regular people. It reduces the influence of big money on elections. Since the Maryland Legislature in 2014 made it possible for counties to adopt a campaign finance system, four jurisdictions have done so: Howard, Montgomery, Prince Georges, and Baltimore Counties, as well as Baltimore City.

 

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