Independents are easily Arizona's fastest-growing voter block. Still, when it comes to campaign funding, costs and even speaking invitations, independent candidates are no strangers to the short end of the stick.
Clean Elections, approved by voters in 1998, provides public funding to candidates regardless of party affiliation. But independents get 30 percent less than party candidates on the grounds independents don't have a primary election, said Michael Becker, the Commission's voter education manager.
"Money can't be transferred from the primary to the general," Becker said. "Independent candidates don't have a primary. The creators of the act determined that the best course of action would be to give partisans a bit more money."
For a legislative race, for instance, "a bit more money" is more than $10,000, which some independents say is unfair because party candidates get money for the primary even if they're unopposed.