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C o n n e c t i c u t


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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 Connecticut

Connecticut's campaign finance disclosure program is ranked in the upper half of all of the states. Despite its fairly strong campaign finance disclosure law, Connecticut does poorly in Electronic Filing, Disclosure Content Accessibility and web site usability.

Connecticut law requires candidates to file quarterly statements in non-election years and two statements before an election. Candidates must provide information about contributors who give $30 or more and a contributor's occupation and employer are required for contributions greater than $100. Last-minute contributions do not have to be reported prior to the election. Candidates and committees must itemize all expenditures and subvendor information is required. Although independent expenditures must be reported, last-minute independent expenditures are not disclosed until after Election Day. Electronic filing is mandatory for statewide candidates, but the high threshold of $250,000 means that campaign finance data about some significant candidates for statewide office may not be easily accessible to the public. Electronic filing is voluntary for legislative candidates.

Although it received a passing grade in Disclosure Content Accessibility, Connecticut could vastly improve its efforts to make campaign finance data available to the public. The state posts campaign finance data on its web site in a timely fashion and has a database of contributors online, but the database only allows searches by the name of a contributor. There is no searchable database of expenditures. Data cannot be sorted or downloaded for searching offline. One helpful feature on the web site is an option to browse data by zip code or employer, within the campaign finance records of one candidate.

The usability of the web site is also lacking. There is no information about Connecticut's campaign finance laws or lists of total amounts raised and spent by statewide and legislative candidates. Connecticut could improve its online usability by putting contextual information on the same web site as its campaign finance data. Currently, campaign finance data is located on the Secretary of State's site, but contextual information is on the State Election Enforcement Commission's page. Having the information on separate web sites makes it hard for the public get a complete picture of campaign financing in the state. The usability testing scores for this site are average and show room for improvement.

Disclosure Agency: Secretary of the 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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