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Campaign Finance

Campaign finance refers to the methods and governing rules under which candidates and political parties obtain the funds necessary to organize political parties and carry out campaigns for public office. In the United States, for example, campaign finance is largely achieved through private fundraising by both candidates and parties. Public finance of candidates or parties is exceptional, although it does exist in limited circumstances. In contrast, many democracies in other parts of the world rely almost exclusively on public funding of political parties and candidates, and many utilize a combination of public and private funding.

Political parties require funding—more in election years than in others—to create and maintain their organizations, pay staff, recruit candidates and volunteers, and to engage in election campaigns. Over the years political ...

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