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Support campaign finance reform in Baltimore County | READER COMMENTARY

The Baltimore County chapter of the NAACP and the nonprofit We Are Gen Change encourage youth to vote in the fall elections on Aug. 26 in Towson.
The Baltimore County chapter of the NAACP and the nonprofit We Are Gen Change encourage youth to vote in the fall elections on Aug. 26 in Towson. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Almost everybody agrees: We must limit the corrupting influence of “big money” on the election process and, thus, the integrity of the decision-making process of our Baltimore County Council members and the county executive.

Baltimore County voters will have that opportunity by approving Question A on the ballot (“Baltimore County, Anne Arundel and Howard: ballot questions,” Sept. 30). It would amend the county charter and create a commission to study and establish a procedure for voluntary public financing of campaigns starting in 2026. Montgomery, Howard and Prince Georges counties and Baltimore City voters have approved this fair election process and the experience thus far has been encouraging.

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Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the most qualified candidates are elected regardless of financial backing? And wouldn’t it be reassuring if issues are decided on their merits rather than upon how much special interest money is spent to support candidates who favor or oppose those issues? We must try to eliminate the current system allowing lobbyists, heavy hitters and high rollers to “pay to play” or “politics as usual.”

I believe that this is the most important issue affecting elected decision-makers, as taking special interest money out of elections, and thereby the decision-making process, will surely result in far better decisions on almost every issue.

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Baltimore County voters must seize this rare opportunity to pass the most important measure that will reform the way decisions are made and business is done in local government. Now is the time.

Howard J. Needle, Pikesville

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

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