Election Costs and Campaign Contributions

Archive Report

Election Costs and Campaign Contributions

The cost of a national election in the United States is roughly estimated at $30,000,000. About one third of the cost is paid by the states out of revenues raised by taxation. The remainder is paid principally by the dominant parties out of funds made up by campaign contributions.

Large financial burdens formerly imposed upon candidates and parties, including the cost of holding primary elections and printing official ballots, have been taken over by the states, but the parties have nevertheless discovered methods of spending constantly increasing sums in their national campaigns. “The expenditure of these vast sums, said former Senator Kenyon who conducted the investigation of campaign expenditures in 1920, “is a present and growing menace to the nation.”

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