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L o u i s i a n 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 Louisiana

Louisiana's campaign disclosure program falls into the top half of the states, but could be better. Its most significant strength lies in its law and its weaknesses lie in Disclosure Content Accessibility and web site usability.

Louisiana has a better than average campaign disclosure law. Candidates are required to file annual reports in non-election years, four reports before a primary election and one report before a general election. The names and addresses of contributors must be disclosed for all contributions, however contributors' occupations and employers do not have to be reported. Last-minute contributions are also required to be disclosed prior to an election. For expenditures, vendors' names and addresses and subvendor information must be disclosed. Independent expenditures and last-minute independent expenditures are required to be reported before an election. Louisiana requires statewide candidates who reach a threshold of $50,000 to file electronically, but legislative candidates have voluntary electronic filing.

Louisiana could improve its Disclosure Content Accessibility. All campaign finance reports are available on the state's web site. Electronically filed reports are posted as soon as they are filed and paper reports are scanned-in and posted when time permits. Louisiana's NIC Technologies databases, containing only electronically-filed reports, are especially difficult to use because they are case sensitive and there are no instructions explaining that. If a user is not aware of the case sensitivity of the database, he or she cannot find reports, making it a significant usability problem. While this is a problem with all of NIC's databases, it is particularly challenging in Louisiana because the Governor's report was filed in all-capital letters and is inaccessible through the database unless the user knows to enter search terms in all capital letters. When it was first created several years ago, the NIC database was one of the better campaign finance database systems, however, technology has advanced and this system has not kept pace.

In addition, while the state does a fair job of making its web site user-friendly, it could be improved. There are no lists of the total amounts raised and spent by state candidates and there is also no list of candidates for recent or current elections. Despite the shortcomings of its site, Louisiana did well in the usability testing. All usability testers found the state ethics site and campaign finance data; most were unable to find summary campaign information.

Disclosure Agency: Board of Ethics
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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