Maryland PIRG is committed to building and protecting a democracy where everyone’s voice is heard and everyone participates. Reducing the influence of big money in the political process is a critical step to ensuring that elected officials are accountable to people–not moneyed interests. Democracy works best when we all participate, but we have a lot of work to do to reduce barriers to voting and help increase civic participation.

We’re dedicated to advocating for policies to further improve the democratic process. Here are our top democracy priorities for the 2022 Maryland legislative session:

  • Democracy Constitutional Amendment: An amendment to the Maryland Constitution to protect the right to know in an open, timely, and transparent manner about how, when, and by whom money is spent and from whom money is raised to influence the vote of the individual for candidates for office and ballot questions; and establishing that a publicly financed election is a right of the people.

  • Maryland Fair Elections Act: Creates a program to enable candidates for state Senator as well as the House of Delegates to run for office without large or corporate contributions by providing limited matching funds for small donations.

  • Special Elections for Legislative Vacancies: An amendment to the Maryland Constitution that would require special elections for filling vacancies in the Maryland Senate or the House of Delegates occurring within the first two years of the vacating legislators’ term. 

  • Improving our Elections’ Systems: We support policies to increase voters’ ability to participate in voting and to streamline voting processes, including the preprocessing of ballots and a ballot curing process.

  • Expanding Local Fair Elections: Authorizing counties to expand their public campaign financing programs to include the offices of State's Attorney, sheriff, register of wills, judge and clerk of the Circuit Court, judge of the Orphans' Court or an elected member of the County Board of Education.

Last year, the Maryland General Assembly made a significant push forward towards building a better democracy. This year, our elected officials have an opportunity to continue to be a national leader in ensuring that the voice of every Marylander is heard, and I hope they take it.  

Maryland PIRG's 2022 Democracy Legislative Agenda

Maryland PIRG's role is to advocate for a democracy where everyone is able to participate and everyone's voice matters.