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How Voter-Owned Elections has worked in other statesFrequently Asked Questions about clean electionsLegislation on Clean Elections

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How Voter-Owned Elections has worked in other states
Voter-Owned Elections can work!

Maine and Arizona have used the system for their statewide election for two full election cycles. The results are impressive.

In Arizona:

  • 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 2002.
  • There was a 50% increase in contested Senate races.

  • 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 Maine:

  • In 2006, 84% of the legislature are clean election candidates.
  • In 2002, 231 out of 372 general election candidates (62%) took part in the voluntary Voter-Owned Elections system.

  • 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 system.

  • 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 governor.

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 web sites: