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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 Arizona

Relative to most other states, Arizona has a good campaign finance disclosure program, with mandatory electronic filing and a fair amount of campaign finance data available on its web site. However, the contextual and technical usability of its web site could be better.

Arizona law requires candidates to file one campaign finance report in non-election years and two reports before an election. Candidates must report detailed information, including occupation and employer, about contributors who give $25 or more. Last-minute contributions do not have to be reported until after an election. Candidates are required to disclose all expenditures, no matter how small, but subvendor information does not have to be reported. Also, last-minute independent expenditures do not have to be reported prior to elections. Arizona has one of the strongest electronic filing programs in the country. It was enacted through a 1998 initiative and mandates electronic filing by all statewide and legislative candidates.

The state makes all campaign finance reports available on its web site as soon as they are filed. However, it could be easier for the public to research campaign contributions and expenditures. There is a searchable database of contributions, but it is only possible to search by the name of the contributor and the date of the contribution. It is not possible to search by the amount of the contribution or the contributor's employer. Although candidates have to disclose a contributor's full address, the state does not publish any information about a contributor's address on the Internet, so it is not possible to search by the zip code where a contributor resides. The data cannot be sorted online or downloaded for sorting and analyzing offline, and the web site does not have a searchable database of expenditures.

Arizona could improve the usability of its site, especially its contextual information. Currently, the site does not feature lists of the total amounts raised and spent by state candidates, or an explanation of which filers appear on the site, and does not retain original campaign finance disclosure filings online when amendments have been filed. The terminology on the site could also be clearer. The usability testing score reflects the weaknesses of the site, as it was difficult for testers to locate information for which they were searching.

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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