About

The Citizens’ Election Fund provides matching County funds to candidates for County Council and County Executive based on qualified contributions to participating candidates. The Fund was created to provide public campaign financing to a candidate in a County office in an effort to reduce the role of large private contributions during the election process and instead encourage small, private donations.

Community Meeting

Program Overview

The attached presentation include a brief overview of the Citizens’ Election Fund program, available resources, the participation progress, types of contributions and the applicable requirements. The second part of the presentation covers how to file reports through MDCRIS and provide additional information on disbursements and other pertinent information. The attached PDF has built in hyperlinks to allow for easy navigation.

Commission Information
Title
Commission Timeline & History
Content

April 2013

  • The Maryland General Assembly passed the Campaign Reform Act, which authorized Maryland counties to establish a campaign finance system for County Executive and County Council races.

April 5th, 2016

  • The Howard County Council passed a resolution (4-1) to amend the County Charter to establish a Citizens’ Election Fund.

November 4th, 2016

  • Howard County residents voted to adopt the amendment with 52% voting in favor.

June 5th, 2017

  • The Howard County Council comprised of Jon Weinstein, Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa, Mary Kay Sigaty, and Greg Fox at the time, passed a bill to create a public finance system for candidates who turn down large donations.

June 13th, 2017

  • Then-County Executive Allan Kittleman vetoed the bill.

July 3rd, 2017

  • The Howard County Council voted (4-1) to override then County Executive Kittleman’s veto, establishing the fund per the charter amendment and creating the Citizens Election Fund Commission to oversee the process.

January 2019

  • Donations to the fund became available to residents either online or through their quarterly water and sewer bills.

May 2019

  • The Citizens Election Fund was established, and they had their first meeting the following June.

May 2020

  • The County Council approved County Executive Calvin Ball’s proposal to allocate $750,000 to support the Citizens Election Fund.

May 2021

  • The County Council approved County Executive Calvin Ball’s proposal to allocate $500,000 to support the Citizens Election Fund.
Title
Commission Members
Content
  • Ms. Suzanne Geckle (Chair)
  • Mr.  Douglas Miller (Vice-Chair)
  • Ms. Ginna Rodriguez-Panqueva
  • Ms. Jennifer Bevan-Dangel
  • Mr.  Ralph Frith
  • Mr.  Keith Ohlinger
  • Ms. Nadine Bernard
Title
Fund Donations
Content

Donations made to the Citizens’ Election Fund go toward Maryland State Board of Elections certified candidates who opt to participate in the program. Citizens wishing to make donations to the Citizens’ Election Fund, via credit card, may do so with the link below.

Title
Frequently Asked Questions
Content

Please use the link below to see the Citizens’ Election Fund Frequently Asked Questions. Revised 9/6/2022.

Title
Summary Guide
Content

Please use the link below to see the Citizens’ Election Fund Summary Guide. Revised June 28, 2022.

Title
Adopted Rules of Procedure
Content

Please use the link below to see the Citizens’ Election Fund Adopted Rules of Procedure. Rules of Procedure were revised on 10/12/2021.

Title
2021-2022 Reporting Timeline
Content

Please use the link below to see the Citizens’ Election Fund 2021-2022 Reporting Timeline.

Revised 11/9/2022

Title
Qualifying Contribution Match Reference Guide
Content

Please use the link below to see the Citizens’ Election Fund Qualifying Contribution Match Reference Guide.

Title
Maryland Campaign Reporting Information System Help Desk (MDCRIS)
Content

Websitewww.elections.state.md.us 
Email[email protected]
Phone: 410-269-2880
Fax: 410-974-2019
Business Hours: 8:00AM - 5:00 PM, M – F

MDCRIS User Manual

Title
Complaints
Content

Any person may file a complaint alleging an impermissible receipt of or use of Citizens’ Election Fund monies.

(1) Complaints shall be in writing and made under oath, presented to the Commission, alleging a violation of the Howard County Citizens’ Election Fund law.

(2) The Commission shall notify the candidate within 10 business days that a complaint was filed and may require that the candidate provide the Commission with reasonable access to the financial records of the candidate’s Citizen Funded Campaign.

(3) If there is a reasonable basis for believing a violation has occurred, then the subject of the complaint shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Commission.

(4) Should the Commission determine that there has been an impermissible receipt or use of funds by a participating candidate, the Commission shall notify the candidate in writing of such finding. The Commission shall take appropriate action which may include repayment of any funds by the candidate’s campaign or individually, a referral to the Office of Law, and/or referral to the Attorney General.

(5) Until a final determination by the Commission, all actions regarding a complaint shall be treated confidentially.

To file a complaint, email [email protected] 

Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Title
2022
Content

September

June

April

January

Title
2021
Content

October

June

April

January

Title
2020
Content

November

October

August

June

January

Title
2019
Content

November

August

June

Next Schedule Meeting

Out next meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, 2022. The meeting will be conducted as a virtual Webex meeting/conference call. To join, please call 1-650-479-3207. The meeting number (access code) is 2304 369 1794.

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