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G e o r g i a


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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 Georgia

Ranked at 21, Georgia's campaign finance disclosure program is in the top half of all states. However, its overall grade of a D+ shows that it has significant room for improvement, particularly in the areas of Disclosure Content Accessibility and Online Contextual and Technical Usability.

One of Georgia's biggest strengths is its campaign finance disclosure law, which is one of the best in the nation. Candidates are required to file semi-annual statements in non-election years and more than three statements before each election. A contributor's name, address, occupation, and employer must be disclosed for any contribution of $101 or more. Candidates must report details about all expenditures of $101 or more, but subvendor information is not required. Independent expenditures and last-minute independent expenditures greater than $1,000 must be reported. Last-minute contributions of more than $1,000 are also required to be reported prior to an election. Georgia has a mandatory electronic filing program for statewide candidates who reach a threshold of $20,000 and a voluntary electronic filing program for legislative candidates. On January 1, 2003, electronic filing became mandatory for all legislative candidates who reach a threshold of $10,000. This change in the law will be reflected in the next round of disclosure grades.

Georgia does a fair job of making campaign finance data available to the public and has significant room for improvement. The Secretary of State posts a combination of electronically filed and paper filed campaign finance reports on its web site, but it can take up to a week before they are online. The web site features a searchable database of contributions from the electronically filed reports, but it is only possible to search by the name of the contributor. The state does not offer a searchable database of expenditures or downloadable campaign finance reports.

The usability of the web site could also be improved. The site does not provide any overview information about campaign financing in Georgia and does not clearly label campaign finance reporting periods. The explanation of the state's campaign finance law and the terminology used on the site could also be better. In addition, it is hard to find the disclosure site from the state's home page and the site may not work well with an older computer or a dial-up modem. Georgia's performance in the usability testing was poor, with only two of six usability testers able to locate the campaign disclosure 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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