Improving our elections, “Money out/People in”

What’s at stake:

Iowans shouldn’t have to wonder who their elected officials listen to more – everyday people or big contributors. Big money and special interest campaign contributions unduly influence our state’s election process and legislative policies. This violates every Iowan’s right to equal and meaningful participation in the democratic process. And in light of the Citizens United decision, even more corporate money can flow into Iowa’s elections. We believe in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people – not corporations and big money special interests.

Also, this year, Iowa is facing a slate of bad bills that aim to disenfranchise voter from the process.


What we’re pushing for:


Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections (VOICE)

VOICE is a voluntary system for state elections where candidates can choose to run using public funding instead of constantly fundraising and accepting monies from special interest groups hoping to wield their influence. It provides qualifying candidates – those who collect a set amount of signatures and small donations from within their district – with a set amount of money from a public source if they promise to refuse money from all other sources. It allows candidates to focus on legislating and taking on the tough issues rather than dialing for dollars. VOICE is the only way to ensure that our elections are voter owned – not corporate auctions!

To that end, CCI members are pushing legislation enacting campaign contribution limits. Iowa is one of only 13 states that does not limit the amount of money an individual or Political Action Committee (PAC) can give to a candidate for public office. Campaign contribution limits are one step towards reducing the increasing costs of running for office, as well as limiting influence from wealthy donors and special interests on our political system. CCI supports limiting campaign contributions to $500 per individual, PAC, or party for state representatives, $1000 for state senators, and $2500 for statewide office candidates.


Universal voter registration

Iowa’s current voter registration program is a model system, but it can still be improved. Every Iowan should be automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthday – this would increase participation in the electoral process, the foundation of our democracy. There’s no reason Iowans should have to jump through extra hoops just to register to vote.


What we want to stop:

Voter ID, Signature Verification, and other voter suppression efforts: The Secretary of State Matt Schultz is pushing a slate of bad bills would disenfranchise low-income people, minorities, and senior voters (at least 11% of whom have no picture ID). These bad bills will be an added cost to state and local governments, and is a “solution in search of a problem.” You are more likely to be struck by lightning than to have your vote canceled out through voter fraud. Voter ID and similar legislation has caused voter suppression in other states after being passed.



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