Most businesses run job candidates through a background check before hiring, to ensure there are no surprises or issues that didn’t come up during the interview process.
With that in mind, the Statesman Journal is partnering with a nonpartisan, nonprofit called Verify More to do background checks on Mid-Valley political candidates.
The Statesman Journal hopes the partnership will improve voter confidence in Mid-Valley candidates and decrease the chances of candidates inflating their credentials or omitting information.
And it could negate last-minute opposition tips sent to the newsroom as ballots are being mailed and Election Day nears.
The mission of Verify More, based in Bellevue, Washington, is to facilitate independent, background checks for local candidates, said founder David Doud, who twice ran for office in Washington state.
“This process removes the double standard that exists where the only job you can apply for without going through a background check is running for public office,” Doud said.
“At this time, trust in politics and our politicians is as important as ever. Verify More is a positive, non-partisan form of disclosure this is designed to do just that.” he said. “We look forward to a successful partnership with the Statesman Journal.”
The Verify More process provides a higher level of detail and accuracy than most small newsrooms, said Doud.
The candidate checks cover 10 years and include a multi-state criminal record review, (county, state and federal courts) National Sex Offender Registry, civil court search, resume verification, military service and a social media review.
The background checks do not include credit history.
The cost of each background check ranges from $150 to $200 and is paid by donations to Verify More.