Maine and Arizona have used the system for
their statewide election for two full election cycles. The results
- Voter-Owned Elections candidates won
9 out of 11 statewide offices in 2002: Governor, Secretary of
State, Attorney General, 4 Corporation Commissioners, Mine Inspector,
and Superintendent of Public Instruction.
- 42% of the legislative seats are now
held by Voter-Owned candidates.
- The number of donations to political
campaigns more than tripled from 1998 (30,000 private donations)
to more than 90,000 $5 Voter-Owned qualifying contributions in
- There was a 50% increase in contested
- In 1998, prior to a Voter-Owned Elections
law, 79% of all races were decided by money - the candidates with
the biggest war chest won. In 2002, after Voter-Owned Elections
were in effect, the number fell to 2%.
- In 2000, 59 candidates sought office
under the new system. In 2002, participation rose to 139 candidates,
more than 57% of all candidates. In 2006 the number participating
rose to 59%.
- The cost of funding all 139 candidates
was $12.8 million, approximately the same amount that was spent
by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and his Republican challenger, Doug Gross,
in their 2002 race for governor.
- According to an Arizona Republic survey,
64% of Arizonans support Voter-Owned Elections.
- Voter turnout in Arizona has increased
by 23% in general elections and 27% in primary elections.
- In 2006, 84% of the legislature are clean
- In 2002, 231 out of 372 general election
candidates (62%) took part in the voluntary Voter-Owned Elections
- 71% of
Democratic candidates and 54% of Republican candidates
participated in the system.
- Participation in the system by candidates
doubled between 2000 and 2002.
- 77% of state senators and 55% of House
members who took office in December 2002 were elected using the
- 98% of candidates who used the system
said they were very satisfied with the Voter-Owned system in Maine.
- Since 1998, the number of contested
primaries has increased by more than 61%.
- Legislators who participated in the
system report more face-to-face contact with voters and a greater
focus on issues because they opted into the new system.
- Approximately $3 million was disbursed
to candidates using the Voter-Owned system in 2002. $1.8 million
to legislative candidates and $1.2 million to two candidates for
Maine and Arizona are not the only states
with Voter-Owned or “Clean” Elections. Several other
states now have some form of the system in place: Connecticut, New
Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts. And other states
across the country are pushing for the reform. In the Midwest, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri all have groups working to reclaim
democracy from special interests and wealthy contributors. To learn
more about what is happening around the country, check out these