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FAQs

These are the most common questions we receive from candidates. For more information, please review the Act & Rules Manual and attend a Candidate Training.

1. How does Clean Elections work?

The Clean Elections Act allows more Arizona citizens the ability to run for office and reduces the influence of interest money, making the officeholders beholden to the voters and not special interest groups. Candidates qualify for clean funding by raising a certain amount of small contributions from voters in their district. Clean funding allows candidates (and officeholders) to spend more time representing the public and less time raising funds. Clean Elections also provides informational tools to voters about candidates running for office, such as hosting candidate debates and mailing candidate statement pamphlets to voters.

2. What's the difference between a $5 Qualifying Contribution and an Early Contribution?

Participating candidates collect $5 Qualifying Contributions from voters in their district (or statewide if running for a statewide office) so they may qualify to receive campaign funding from the Clean Elections fund.

Participating candidates collect Early Contributions from individuals (up to $160 per individual) to fund their campaign until they are able to qualify and receive campaign funding from the Clean Elections fund. Early Contributions must be received and spent by the end of the qualifying period.

3. Where do I collect my $5 Qualifying Contributions from?

If you are running for a legislative office, all $5 qualifying contributions must come from registered voters that reside in your legislative district. If you are running for a statewide office, you can collect a $5 qualifying contribution from anyone registered to vote in Arizona. Any $5 qualifying contributions that fall outside of the two requirements stated above will be disqualified.

4. Do early contributions have to come from registered voters in my district?

No. A person who wishes to give an early contribution does not have to reside in the same district, nor do they have to be a registered voter. Early contributions can come from any individual who is legally a permanent resident of the United States. There is an exception for lobbyists, however. Lobbyists may not make campaign contributions of any sort to a member of the Legislature while the Legislature is in regular session. Lobbyists also may not make campaign contributions of any sort to the governor while the legislature is in regular session, or while regular session is pending the governor's approval or veto. This includes $5 qualifying contributions. See Arizona Attorney General Opinion, Ariz. Op. Atty. Gen. No. I02- 001 (2002).

5. Can traditional candidates change and run with Clean Elections?

Yes, provided the following criteria have been met:

  • The qualifying period has not ended (the qualifying period ends August 21st, 2018)
  • You have not exceeded the early contribution limit for the particular office sought
  • Refund all contributions from PACs, labor unions, businesses, political parties, and corporations
  • Refund all contributions in excess of the $160 early contribution limit
  • All campaign finance reports have been filed and/or amended to show activity to date
  • You attend a participating candidate workshop

6. Can I collect $5 Qualifying Contributions online?

Yes, you may collect $5 qualifying contributions through E-Qual, a portal designed and administered by the Secretary of State's office. A candidate may collect 100% of their $5 qualifying contributions through the E-Qual System.

7. Can a person with a green card give an early contribution?

Yes. As long as a person is a permanent legal resident of the United States per 8 U.S.C ยง 1101(20), they may make an early contribution to a candidate.