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W e s t . V i r g i n 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 West Virginia

Although West Virginia received an F, it did get a C+ for its Campaign Disclosure Law and ranked 18th in usability. West Virginia's most significant weaknesses lie in Electronic Filing and Disclosure Content Accessibility.

West Virginia requires candidates to file annual non-election year reports and two reports before each election. Details must be disclosed about all contributors, but occupation and employer information is only required for contributions of $250 or more. Last-minute contributions are not disclosed until after the election. All expenditures must be reported, but subvendor information does not have to be disclosed. Independent expenditures and last-minute independent expenditures have to be disclosed prior to an election. West Virginia does not have electronic filing.

West Virginia has significant room to improve its efforts to make campaign finance information accessible to the public. Paper records are scanned and posted to the web site within four days of being received. It is possible to browse an index of a candidate's reports and view itemized transactions within a report, but there are no searchable databases of contributions or expenditures on the site. The state will provide a disk with scanned copies of campaign finance reports to members of the public upon request.

West Virginia's site is a bit difficult to use, given that there is not much information on it. Reports for each election year are available in different places and users have to search on more than one screen to find reports for candidates. It might be better to provide a comprehensive list of candidates by office and then link to reports from that list. The site does provide some good contextual information to the public, including an explanation of the state's campaign finance restrictions and law, a comprehensive list of candidates for recent elections, an explanation of which campaign finance reports are online, and the posting of both original filings and amended reports. The clear labeling of disclosure reporting periods within candidates' reports, and lists of the total amounts raised and spent by state candidates could make the site better.

Disclosure Agency: West Virginia 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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