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Here are some reports and other useful resources that contain information on California Common Cause's priorities. If you have other information that you think might be useful to put here, please contact us at (213) 623-1216.

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Money & Influence 08.1.2018

Public Financing of Campaigns: People-Powered Elections


Public financing of campaigns are programs that provide public funds to help candidates run for office. In exchange, candidates voluntarily agree to meet certain qualifications and adhere to various restrictions. They can be used to fund candidates for a local city council all the way up to the President of the United States. Funding is determined by the jurisdiction; sometimes funding comes out of the general fund and sometimes it is paid for by a specific revenue source, like a parcel tax. Numerous states and cities have enacted public financing such as Arizona, Maine, New York City, Los Angeles City, and Seattle. There are a number of public financing systems, small donor matching funds, vouchers and clean money.

Voting & Elections 07.27.2018

Best Election Practices: Creating Voter-Centric Elections


California Common Cause continued its Election Protection program in the June 2018 primary election. In this effort, we also observed the launch of the Voter's Choice Act in 3 counties (San Mateo, Sacramento, and Napa) while monitoring pollworker conduct and general election administration practices. Based on our observations, we developed this report to highlight some best practices and recommendations to address common issues we observed.

Voting & Elections 01.27.2017

California Municipal Democracy Index


Many election laws and campaign practices are shaped at the local level, including how people vote for their city officials and the campaign contribution limits for those offices. California Common Cause recently completed a major study of these practices for all 482 cities in California.

Money & Influence 03.1.2016

Local Campaign Contribution Limits


The Supreme Court has held that campaign contribution limits are a legitimate means of “deal[ing] with the reality or appearance of corruption inherent in a system permitting unlimited financial contributions.” Campaign contribution limits help to ensure that candidates are not overly reliant on a few wealthy donors to finance their campaigns. With a cap on individual contributions, candidates must also build a broader base of smaller contributions to be viable. As of 2014, the federal government and 38 states had enacted campaign contribution limits. Thirty-four states have also enacted local campaign contribution limits.

Voting & Elections 02.1.2016

Full Service Voting: Optimizing the Voter Experience


Voter participation in the United States is plummeting. In California, there is a widening gap between the number eligible voters and the number of voters who successfully cast a ballot. During the 2014 midterm elections, California set a record low for voter turnout in a regularly scheduled general election; only 42.2 percent of registered voters. In an effort to address waning civic participation, some states have adopted modern technology and procedures that make the voting process more streamlined and accessible to a wider audience of voters.

Money & Influence 04.23.2015

Money Talks: The State of Public Financing in California


The need for restructuring our campaign finance system has never been so dire. One reform with particular promise is the use of public funds to amplify the voice of everyday citizens in political campaigns. Public Financing helps to reduce corruption, hold politicians accountable and create a government of, by, and for the people.

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