What is Fair Elections Maryland?
The Fair Elections Maryland Coalition was founded to establish small donor campaign finance programs for local and state elections in Maryland.
Since being founded, Fair Elections Maryland has worked with Montgomery County and Howard County to establish local small donor campaign finance programs that will be in effect for the 2018 and 2022 elections, respectively.
Why Does Maryland Need Campaign Finance Reform?
Our campaign finance system is broken. Wealthy donors and special interests have too much influence – not just over who wins elections, but over who is even able to run for office. The impact of that system is clearly seen, and felt, and the national level. But even in our state and local offices, the cost of running for office prevents candidates from running, alienates every day voters, and increases the access that large and corporate donors have once candidates take office.
There are two ways to fix our campaign finance system, and both are needed for real reform. On one hand we need stronger rules, stronger referees, to oversee the political game. Those rules need to address the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions and strengthen our ability to regulate spending in campaigns. On the other hand, we also need small donor matching fund, or fair elections, programs to put more players in the game – to empower small donors to rebuild their democracy, open doors for diverse candidates to run for office, and give everyday people a stronger voice in the legislative process after Election Day is over.