Overview

Fair elections programs allow candidates to focus on voters rather than spending all their time fundraising.  Candidates qualify for fair elections funding by gathering a certain number of small contributions.  Once the candidate has demonstrated a base level of support, he or she receives a grant from a public fair elections fund to run the campaign.

Fifteen states and two cities already have voluntary Fair Elections in place for at least some elections: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Portland, Oregon. Learn more from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In Colorado, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to introduce fair elections. Funding for the program is a challenge in most states and is particularly difficult in TABOR states like Colorado, where all tax increases must be approved by voters. And except for vice taxes (e.g. marijuana tax, tobacco tax), Colorado voters do not have a history of supporting higher taxes.

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