Clean Election generally refers to elections that are free of electoral fraud or deception. More specifically, clean election describes a system of taxpayer financing of political campaigns. Candidates who qualify by collecting a prescribed number of signatures and $5 contributions from registered voters in their electoral district can agree to not raise or spend any private money during the primary and general elections. Instead, a set amount of funding for the candidate's campaign is provided from the state budget. If the candidate is outspent by an opponent running a privately funded campaign, the state will provide more funding to the "clean" candidate in order to match the amount spent by the opponent, up to some multiple of the original funding.
Clean elections have been implemented in Maine and Arizona on a statewide level, as well as in Portland, Oregon on the municipal level, and elsewhere. Proponents of clean elections, including those involved in Clean Elections Rhode Island, believe that Clean Elections result in increased voter turnout, political transparency, and diversity of candidates, including fuller representation of women and minorities.