Members of a task force charged with reviewing Delaware’s election laws seemed to agree Wednesday that there’s no need for a law requiring political candidates to undergo criminal background checks. Background checks for candidates are among several issues that have been explored by the task force, formed by lawmakers earlier this year to conduct a comprehensive review of Delaware’s elections and make recommendations on how to improve them. The panel is to submit its report in March. The issue of background checks came up after New Castle County elections officials ruled last year that Derrick Johnson, pastor of Joshua Harvest Church in Wilmington, was ineligible to run for mayor of Wilmington because he had served prison time for manslaughter — an “infamous crime” that officials determined prevented him from holding office, despite a later pardon. “The only reason we knew about it was because he was so open about it,” said state elections commissioner, the chair of the task force.
But Andrew Lippstone, chief counsel to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell and a member of the task force, suggested Wednesday that Delaware’s political system is good at ferreting out problems in candidates’ backgrounds without requiring them to submit background checks as a criteria for running for office.
Republican state Sen. Colin Bonini of Dover agreed.
“I think the rough-and-tumble business we’re in is really going to self-police this,” he said.
Task force members also discussed how to ensure that convicted felons have met the criteria for restoration of their voting rights before being allowed to vote.
Full Article: Panel continues review of Delaware election laws – NewsTimes.