During a presidential election — particularly one as compelling and unpredictable as this one — it can be easy to lose track of elections happening at the state level. It can be even easier to forget about state-level campaign finance, given the truly massive amounts spent at the federal level. But millions of dollars will be spent on state and local elections this year, too, and it’s just as important to track where this money comes from.
It’s not always easy to do this, and your ability to track the sources of your elected officials’ campaign dollars can depend on where you live. Now, you can see how your state compares to the rest: The National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP) released a scorecard grading state disclosure of campaign contributions. The scores were based on the amount of contributors’ information disclosed; the timeliness and quality of the data, including availability and completeness of electronic data; and the availability of a searchable, downloadable dataset.
Many states did well at providing electronic data (something Sunlight advocates strongly for) — 31 states got full credit for mandating electronic filings for all candidates, and 36 states “earned full credit for completeness of electronic data, which includes nine states that must manually input some paper reports to build a comprehensive online database.” read more here at The Sunlight Foundation.
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