We have a suggestion for those left in the running after today’s primary election ballots are counted.
Those who haven’t already should undergo a free background check provided by CandidateVerification.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Bellevue provides background checks and résumé verification to candidates running for office in the United States.
This is a reasonable step all political hopefuls should take along the campaign trail.
Not only will it give voters more confidence in the electoral process, but it also lets candidates know of possible false information lurking in their history that they can be prepared to address.
In this digital age of such easy access to information, you would think a background check for political candidates would be standard procedure. But that has not been the case, as we unfortunately have seen with some elected officials whose past indiscretions were discovered only after they took office.
For example, State Rep. Graham Hunt, a Republican from Orting, resigned in February amid allegations that he exaggerated his military record. If he had used the CandidateVerification system, the real story would have come out before he was elected.
The CandidateVerification program has joined forces with Ballotpedia and uses one of the nation’s largest employment screening providers, Talentwise. It covers a 10-year criminal records search, a 10-year civil records search, a 10-year employment history, professional credentials and military service.
The organization started only three years ago and is still catching on. We hope that in time it will be used so routinely that it will be suspicious if a political candidate chooses not to use it.
With the amount of mudslinging that goes on in the more contentious races, you would think all the past wrongs of those running for office would be found out. But until now, there was not a tool available as comprehensive as this.
CandidateVerification is the brainchild of David Doud, who ran for a Port of Seattle commission seat in 2009 and lost to Rob Holland, who later resigned from office under a cloud.
Doud realized that a thorough background check may have prevented Holland from being elected in the first place, and so he launched the program in the hope that it would provide more transparency to the election process.
Political hopefuls who participate in the verification program are able to see a copy of the results before they grant permission for them to be included in the CandidateVerification database. If they question the accuracy of the report, they can challenge the results.
For candidates with nothing to hide, getting checked through this system will add to their credibility.
Employers routinely require job applicants to submit to a background check; so do schools seeking volunteers. Consumers can check Carfax before buying a car.
Voters should be able to check on political candidates the same way.
Doud has done a great public service launching this verification program. Now we just need all political candidates to use it.
Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/editorials/article93168117.html#storylink=cpy