“Concern should drive us into action, not into a depression.” -- Karen Horney

“For years, special interests and big money have had a negative effect on our local, state and national elections. Clean Elections changes that. In 1998, Arizonans voted for the Clean Elections Act and restored voter confidence in the electoral process. Clean Elections works well to overcome the influence of special interests. It gives Arizonans the power to create good government.”

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), June 2002

Arizona has been successfully using Clean Elections full public financing of campaigns for all state offices since 2000.  Arizona voters approved the Citizens Clean Elections Act in 1998 despite opposition from entrenched special interests.  It provides an equal and limited amount of public funds to qualifying candidates based on the costs of campaigning in Arizona for each office, and covers all state legislators and statewide offices.

The Clean Elections Act has been a resounding success with candidates and voters in Arizona.  In 2002, Arizona’s Clean Elections system celebrated a clear victory, as the first ever publicly financed governor was elected, in addition to 38 other clean candidates.

Other positive impacts impacts include:

9 out of 11 statewide offices were elected running "clean":  Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, 4 Corporation Commissioners, and Mine Inspector.

42% of Arizona’s legislature is made up of members elected clean.

The number of minority candidates doubled over 1998.

70% of women candidates used public money in their races.

Voter turn-out consistently increasing, over 15% higher since public funding adopted

Despite such successes — or maybe because of them — opponents of Clean Money attacked Arizona’s system in the courts multiple times.  It has survived every important court test, with the Arizona Supreme Court ruling 5-0 that it and its funding sources were constitutional.

Meanwhile, the Arizona public supports the Clean Elections Act more than ever, with 85% of Arizonanís familiar with their Clean Elections system saying they believed it is very or somewhat important to Arizona voters in a 2006 poll.


Qualifying Candidates

Candidates qualify as Clean Elections candidates and receive public funds based on the costs of campaigning for their office by:

(1) Collecting a set number of $5 qualifying contributions from voters in their districts. The exact number of qualifying contributions required are:

Office Qualifying $5
Contributions Needed
Secretary of State, Attorney General:
Treasurer, Sup. Of Instruction, Corporation Commission
Mine Inspector:

(2) Renouncing any further campaign contributions.

Matching funds are granted if a clean candidate is outspent by a privately funded opponent, up to double the original grant.

Arizona Links

"Clean Elections Works!"
Clean Elections Institute of Arizona summary of impact on 2002 election

"Road to Victory"
Clean Elections Institute of Arizona detailed report on 2002 election (PDF)

Arizona's Clean Elections Institute

Arizona Clean Elections Act (Full text of 1998 initiative)

Arizona Clean Money Act Qualifying Contribution and Expenditure Limits

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