Grading State Disclosure 2003 Logo Graphic

N e b r a s k 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 Nebraska

Although Nebraska has a relatively strong campaign finance disclosure law, its overall campaign finance disclosure program is very weak. The state performed poorly in Electronic Filing, Disclosure Content Accessibility and Online Contextual and Technical Usability.

Under Nebraska law, candidates must file one campaign finance statement in non-election years and two before each election. Details for contributions greater than $250 must be reported, but a contributor's occupation and employer are not required to be disclosed. Last-minute contributions of $1,000 or more must be reported within two days. Details must be disclosed for expenditures greater than $250, but subvendor information is not required. Independent expenditures of $250 or more must be disclosed, and last-minute independent expenditures (of $1,000 or more) must be reported within two days. Nebraska has no electronic filing program for statewide or legislative candidates.

Nebraska does a poor job of making campaign finance data accessible to the public. Even though state agency staff enter all campaign finance records into a database in their office, there are no searchable databases of contributions or expenditures featured on the web site and it is not possible to sort or download the data. It is possible to view campaign finance records on the site in a static form. Since the state goes to the trouble of data entering all campaign finance records, it is unfortunate that there are no features on the site that allow users to manipulate the data.

The usability of the web site could also be improved. There is some good contextual information on the site, including an explanation of state campaign finance restrictions and a list of candidates for recent or upcoming elections. The site does not list disclosure reporting periods in each campaign finance report and does not clearly explain which campaign finance reports are available on the web site. It also does not retain original campaign finance reports online once amendments have been posted.

In terms of technical usability, the site is difficult to find from the state homepage, in part because the name of the agency doesn't necessarily indicate that it would be the right place to locate campaign finance information. There could also be clearer terminology on the disclosure site. For example, information about itemized expenditures has the label “miscellaneous transactions” rather than “expenditures”. Despite some of its shortcomings, Nebraska's site did well in the usability testing.


Disclosure Agency: Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission
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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