Hawaii to experiment with publicly funded elections
HONOLULU, Hawaii: This fall's Hawaii County Council election is being used as a test run to experiment with publicly funded elections. Sixteen candidates for the Council applied to participate in the program. It will be financed by the $4.5 million Hawaii Election Campaign Fund, which consists of $3 donations from taxpayers who check off the box on their income taxes.
Candidates seeking public money must submit a petition of 200 signatures along with 200 donations of $5 each. They then receive funding based on the average amount spent by winning candidates in the district from the last 2 election years, minus 10%. No outside money can be accepted. If the trial run is considered successful, public financing of elections could spread throughout the state.