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A r k a n s a s


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Campaign Disclosure Law
Electronic Filing Program
Disclosure Content Accessibility
Online Contextual & Technical Usability

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The State of Disclosure in Arkansas

Despite its low rank and grade, Arkansas has a stronger campaign finance disclosure law than many other states; its overall grade is a reflection of a lack of electronic filing, poor accessibility of campaign finance information and poor web site usability.

Arkansas requires candidates to file campaign finance reports quarterly in non-election years and monthly in election years. Candidates must file detailed contributor information, including occupation and employer, for contributions of $50 or more and detailed expenditure information for payments of $100 or more, although subvendor information is not required. Last-minute contributions do not have to be reported prior to an election. Independent expenditures must be reported, but last-minute independent expenditures are not required to be reported before an election.

Arkansas does not have an electronic filing program, but the Secretary of State scans all campaign finance reports and posts them on its web site in a PDF format. The state does a good job of posting campaign finance data in a timely manner, within a few days of the filing deadline, and has reports on its site dating back to 1996. However, many of the campaign finance reports are of poor quality and often hard to read – some files are difficult to download and others have small fonts, sloppy handwriting or blurry images – making it hard to access the information. There are no searchable databases of contributions or expenditures, limiting the public's ability to analyze campaign finance information and compare the activity of candidates.

The usability of Arkansas' web site is also very weak. The state could improve the contextual information on the site, including lists of the total amounts raised and spent by state candidates, a better explanation of campaign finance restrictions in the state, and details about what records can be found on the web site and how the site can be used. It is also very hard to locate the disclosure agency's site from the state home page.

Disclosure Agency: Secretary of State
Disclosure Web Site:

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This page was first published on September 17, 2003
| Last updated on September 17, 2003
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