Baltimore County announces call for applicants for Fair Election Fund Commission

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County has announced a call for applications to serve on the Fair Election Fund Commission for its new public financing system for candidates for County Council and County Executive — which will begin with the 2026 election cycle.

Applications are now open and will remain open until August 31, 2023.

“Money should never be a barrier to running for office and we are thrilled to take this long-awaited next step to realize Baltimore County’s first-ever Fair Election Fund,” Olszewski said. “We welcome residents reflective of Baltimore County’s incredible demographic, geographic, and political diversity to apply for this exciting opportunity and help empower a more diverse group of candidates, create a more level playing field, and strengthen our local elections for years to come.”

The Fair Election Fund Commission will consist of nine county residents: seven individuals — one from each council district — will be nominated by members of the County Council and two individuals will be nominated by the County Executive. Interested candidates must apply to be considered.

The Commission will be responsible for estimating the amount of funding needed during the upcoming election cycle, and shall make annual recommendations to the County Executive on the level of appropriations needed in each forthcoming budget. Appointees will serve four-year terms.

To be eligible to serve on the Fair Election Fund Commission, individuals must be a resident and registered voter in Baltimore County.

In addition, individuals must not be:

  • A candidate for public office in the previous, current, or next election cycle
  • A Chair or Treasurer of an open campaign account
  • An elected or appointed member of a local or State central committee of a political party
  • A lobbyist registered with the County or the State

Establishing a Fair Election Fund is a key priority for County Executive Olszewski, who called for a public financing option for local elections for years before taking office.

As his first legislative priority, Olszewski proposed a package of reforms, including a charter amendment to create a system for public financing for candidates. The charter amendment passed with bipartisan support and was approved by voters in 2020.

Olszewski later created the bipartisan Fair Election Fund Work Group to propose recommendations for Baltimore County’s Fair Election Fund system.

Based on the work group’s recommendations, Olszewski introduced legislation to create Baltimore County’s Fair Election Fund, which was approved by the County Council with bipartisan support.

Residents interested in serving on Baltimore County’s Fair Election Fund Commission can apply here until August 31, 2023.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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