Public Funding of Elections

Pursuant to my calls for an American Labor Party, I'm calling for the public funding of elections.

Democracy Dollars

For Liberals: It's the people buying politicians, not special interests.

For Conservatives: You're buying your politicians, not special interests.

How do?

Every voting-aged person gets a voucher (e.g. $100). Any amount of that voucher can be donated to a political campaign specified by the issuing government (e.g. a state government could establish a Democracy Dollars program to fund its state-level races). Any campaign that collects money from these vouchers must collect either all or a majority (more than half) of its funding from these vouchers. Any unused money gets put into the fund to fund the next election, where everyone gets a fresh voucher.

Alternatively, a state could require a certain amount of support within a district (raising a certain amount of in-district donations as is done in Connecticut) to give a grant for the candidate to run their campaign.

An Example

Iowa. Iowa exists. Iowa exists and we have a bit of data for it. Let's do a little math on this, shall we?

Iowa's voting age population (age 18+) is 77% of the state population (3,155,070), making it 2,429,404 people.

If everyone receives $100 in every other year (the Iowa State House has elections in every even-numbered year), the cost per election would be $242,940,400, or half that ($121,470,200) every year.

At most, 70% of Iowans vote. If we assume that this proportion uses their vouchers in full, 70% of the pool is used up every election ($170,058,280 per election; $85,029,140 per year) and must be replenished. Real-life numbers to replenish the fund from which the vouchers draw would likely be lower than these figures because not all of the 70% of voting-aged people would use their vouchers in full.