How Clean Funding Works
Learn about the Clean Elections funding program and how you can participate.
The Clean Elections Act provides a clean funding program for statewide and legislative candidates who agree to forgo special interest and high dollar contributions. This allows participating candidates to directly connect with the voters in their district so they may raise a minimum number of qualifying contributions to receive clean campaign funding.
Candidates can choose to run as a traditional candidate or a participating Clean Elections candidate. Candidates who choose to raise private campaign funds, subject to contribution limits, are known as non-participating/traditional candidates.
Candidates who opt into the Clean Funding program are known as participating candidates. Participating candidates agree to adhere to the Act and Commission rules in return for receiving funding from the Citizens Clean Elections Fund.
Candidates who wish to participate in the Clean Funding program must file an Application for Certification before July 28, 2020 (the end of the qualifying period). The application is generated in the Secretary of State's Campaign Finance Reporting System and the candidate must file the original, notarized application directly with the Secretary of State. The Clean Elections Commission will notify candidates within 7 days if their application is approved.
Candidates can collect $5 Qualifying Contributions during the qualifying period (August 1, 2019 - July 28, 2020). Only a qualified elector, who is properly registered to vote in the district of the office a candidate is seeking, may give a $5 Qualifying Contribution. A candidate can receive a $5 Qualifying Contribution from a qualified elector regardless of the contributor's party affiliation. Candidates must collect a minimum number of qualifying contributions, depending on the office they are seeking.The Commission recommends you collect 20% more than the required amount.
$5 Qualifying Contribution forms will be disqualified if:
Candidates apply for funding at the Secretary of State's Office. When applying, they must file the following documents:
Independent candidates are eligible for clean funding and will receive 70% of the combined primary and general election funding amounts. For example, in 2018 a partisan legislative candidate would have received primary funding of $16,995 and general funding of $25,493, for a combined total of $42,488. A legislative, independent candidate is therefore eligible to have received $29,742 (70% of $42,488). Independent candidates receive their funding as soon as they qualify.
The table below identifies the minimum number of $5 qualifying contributions required to receive clean funding, caps on early contributions, and funding amounts. Candidates will receive primary election funding as soon as they qualify and general election funding will be disbursed at the start of the general election period.
Early contributions are raised and spent through July 28, 2020:
A participating candidate must adhere to expenditure limits, and may not make expenditures in excess of the cash on hand. This includes both early contributions received and candidate funding (A.R.S. 16-941).
Please refer to the Act & Rules Manual for further information on expenditures.