The Anne Arundel County Council will consider a resolution, introduced on behalf of County Executive Steuart Pittman, to place a charter amendment on the 2022 ballot to create a system for public financing of County elections.
State law authorizes counties to establish a public campaign financing system. Like similar systems adopted by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and the State of Maryland, Resolution 1-22 aims to reduce the role of large private contributions and encourage individual small donor donations.
“Providing a public financing system for local elections gives popular candidates without access to wealthy donors a fair shot at public service,” said County Executive Pittman.
The proposed charter amendment would establish a voluntary public financing program to match small donations for County Council and County Executive candidates. Participants must forego significant contributions from PACs, corporations, and individuals to be eligible.
The Anne Arundel County Council will consider the resolution, which requires a supermajority vote, on February 7.
“The public campaign finance question will be put on the 2022 ballot if five of seven County Council members approve letting the voters decide the matter,” County Executive Pittman said. “I believe that it’s a choice our voters should be allowed to make.”