Grading State Disclosure 2003 Logo Graphic

C o l o r a d o


golden bar divider

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

Grading Process green cube Subcategory Weighting green cube Methodology green cube Glossary

golden bar divider

The State of Disclosure in Colorado

While it is ranked in the upper half of the states, Colorado's campaign finance disclosure program has room for improvement. Its strengths lie in its law and efforts to make campaign finance information accessible to the public, but Colorado's electronic filing program and web site usability could be significantly better.

Colorado's law requires candidates to file quarterly campaign finance statements in non-election years and four reports before each election. Candidates must disclose detailed information about contributors who give $20 or more and a contributor's occupation or employer is required for contributions of $100 or more. Last-minute contributions must be reported before an election. Independent expenditures must be reported and last-minute independent expenditures must also be reported before an election. Colorado's voluntary, rather than mandatory, electronic filing program, along with a lack of both adequate funding and a standard filing format, brings down its grade in this category.

One of Colorado's strengths is its effort to make campaign finance information accessible to the public. Campaign finance data is available on the campaign disclosure web site within 24 hours of being filed. The site features electronically filed reports and scanned-in versions of reports filed on paper. It also has comprehensive searchable databases of contributions and expenditures, containing records that were either data entered by agency staff or electronically filed by candidates. There are some technical problems with the site, however, and it is not possible to search the contributions by zip code or employer, to search the expenditures by description, or to download the data for analyzing offline.

While there is a lot of data on Colorado's disclosure web site, there are also a number of significant usability and terminology problems that limit the value of the information. The usability of the site is weakened by a lack of important contextual information, such as a list of the total amounts raised and spent by state candidates, and an explanation of which candidates records are featured on the web site. Also, original filings are not retained online when amendments are added to the site. Colorado's usability testing scores reflect the weaknesses in the usability of its web site.

Disclosure Agency: Secretary of State
Disclosure Web Site:

Back to the Grading State Disclosure home page

View another state's summary:


This page was first published on September 17, 2003
| Last updated on September 17, 2003
copyright ©
Campaign Disclosure Project. All rights reserved.