Have you ever wondered what the Clean Elections Commission is? The Citizens Clean Elections Act, passed by voters in 1998, is administered by a five member, non-partisan Commission. It established a system for voter education, clean funding for candidate campaigns, and campaign finance enforcement. But what is its purpose? The Act was created to restore confidence and citizen participation in the election system, as well as improve the integrity of government while also promoting the freedom of speech.
The Different Clean Elections Programs
The Clean Elections programs consist of many different areas of focus including voter education, public financing, campaign finance enforcement, and the clean elections fund. Let’s take a look at each program separately:
- Voter Education: This program consists of a robust voter education plan. Its focus is to educate voters about the logistics of voting.
- Public Financing: The Commission provides a public financing program to qualified statewide and legislative candidates. To qualify, they must collect a certain number of $5 qualifying contributions and agree to not accept contributions from PACs and corporations.
- Campaign Finance Enforcement: This program allows The Commission to assess civil penalties on both participating and non-participating candidates.
- Clean Elections Fund: The voters of Arizona established this fund which consists of a 10% surcharge on all civil penalties and criminal fines, civil penalties paid by candidates, and $5 qualifying contributions collected from participating candidates.
What Is a Clean Election?
According to Tom Collins, Executive Director of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, a clean election is one where everyone who is eligible to participate, does. If only a small participating group is working to shape the future, it becomes a missed opportunity for improvement.
To encourage more people to vote, the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) focuses on voter education. Voter participation is up during presidential election years and down during off years. Typically, local elections receive the lowest turnout. The CCEC has introduced new tools and services designed to carry voters through the election process from beginning to end. As part of the CCEC statewide debate program, voters will be given the opportunity to ask candidates questions either in-person or online. The public can rely on the CCEC to guide voters through the process of getting to know the candidates to help them assess and cast their ballot.
How To Register To Vote
Voting is an opportunity to participate in the political process. There are several requirements when registering to vote in Arizona including being a citizen of the United States and being 18 years of age or older on or before the general election date. For the full list of voting requirements and to find out how to vote, click here.
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