News & Resources

Maryland amends background screening requirements for elective office

Aug 17, 2011 Matt Roesly

On August 8, members of the Laurel City Council in Laurel City, Maryland, had a unanimous vote to amend a law which regarded those who spent time in jail ineligible for elective office, Explore Howard reports. The law also required all candidates to pass an extensive background screening before being considered. Officials that who opposed last year's initiated law stated that it was discriminatory and that the legislation had to be altered. The amended law now only screens candidates for owed taxes, if any, and reinstates an individual's voting rights once they have completed their jail sentence. While the background screening process is common in the workforce, the laws regarding how detailed the screenings can be varies from state to state. "Initially the city didn't seem like they wanted to move on amending it, but after we met and had a great dialogue of going back and forth, they got it done and came up with a good piece of legislation," Robert Ross, president of the county NAACP, told the news source. "This legislation could be a model for the rest of the state."