Battling Citizens United, Expanding Enfranchisement, and Ending Voter Intimidation
More than six billion dollars were spent during the last election cycle- more than two billion by the presidential candidates and their super PACs alone- much of which was secret and devoted to attack ads. It is increasingly clear that special interests and the wealthy can buy a louder voice in national discourse than the average voter. This subverts the election process and shrouds it in secrecy when elections should be transparent, equal, and fair. Jon believes everyone should have the right to know who is attempting to influence their vote and have the ability to hold them accountable for what they put on the air.
As Chair of the Election Law Subcommittee for the last seven years, election law has been Jon’s signature issue in the legislature. As Attorney General, Jon will do everything within his power to get protect citizens’ right to vote and expel the corrupting influence of money from politics.
In 2013, Jon sponsored four election law bills, three of which institutionalized major reform. These laws improved access to the ballot, authorized the Attorney General to prosecute voter fraud, and limit corporate contributions. Jon also sponsored a bill to allow voting by mail in special elections, and led the floor debate on a successful bill allowing same day voter registration during early voting. He has continually worked to defeat voter ID legislation-- bills intended only to strip the right to vote from minority and elderly populations. Jon also works to reform election law on a national level as the Chair-Elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Election law Committee.
As Attorney General, Jon will unapologetically go after perpetrators of voter intimidation, fraud, or other deceptive election practices. In 2010, an operative for former Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich authorized robocalls to African American voters falsely informing them that the election was over, and that they should stay home. The sole purpose of this multi-thousand dollar expenditure was to illegally keep African American voters away from the polls. Maryland needs an Attorney General who is dedicated to ending deceptive practices like this that threaten the integrity of our elections and our democracy.