Howard County voters passed Question A on November 8, 2016. It is an Amendment to the Howard County Charter that allows the County Council to establish the Citizens’ Election Fund. This fund would be a small donor campaign finance system for County Council and County Executive races.
Fair elections ensure everyone’s voice is heard in government!
By voting for Question A on November 8, Howard County joined communities across the country who are moving to a new way to fund elections.
How Do Fair Elections Programs Work?
Here’s how citizen-funded fair election programs work:
- First, they encourage participation. Provide matching funds for small contributions from constituents.
- Second, they elevate the voices of everyday people. Match small contributions on a scale (between 6-to-1 and 1-to-1) with the smallest donations matched at the highest rate.
- Third, they expand opportunities for people to run for office. People qualify by building support in their community. This allows people from all backgrounds to run for office. They are able to run on the strength of their ideas, not access to money. It helps build a diverse and representative government.
- Fourth, they keep big money out. Participating candidates cannot accept large contributions (over $150) or corporate contributions.
Most of all, establishing citizen-funded elections will reclaim our democracy in Howard County and beyond. By reforming elections here, we can serve as a leader and an example for the rest of the country.