Since the Supreme Court largely deregulated election spending in 2010 in Citizens United, wealthy donors and special interests have pumped more and more money into the political process. Small donor public campaign financing has proved to be the most powerful tool available to amplify the voices of everyday Americans and strengthen connections between candidates and constituents.
Small donor matching systems multiply modest donations from state or local residents to participating candidates with public funds. Other programs offer qualifying candidates block grants or provide residents with vouchers to assign public funds to participating candidates. Each program requires candidates to meet thresholds to show sufficient community support, ensuring their viability before they may access public funds.
Fourteen states and 26 localities now offer the option, with more considering the reform. In addition, a federal public financing program is available for presidential candidates. This resource catalogs all public financing programs in the United States by state or municipality, program type, year of enactment, and other key facts. We will periodically update the list as policymakers create new programs.