Witnesses at the recent hearing had plenty to say about what's wrong with the Senate's cumbersome, paper-based system. For starters, even though most senators now collect their campaign finance data on computers, they still print out their records and submit them on paper to the Secretary of the Senate. That office then spends up to two days scanning digital images of these printouts, which are then shipped over to the Federal Election Commission.The current method of paper reports just seems---archaic.
The FEC then squanders considerable time and money punching the information back into computers so that it can be searched electronically. The annual cost to the FEC? About $250,000. The whole process can take up to 30 days, and often the money flowing into Senate campaigns in the last quarter of an election -- which is usually when the biggest receipts show up -- isn't accessible to the public until after the race is over.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Senate Electronic Filing BIll Headed to Mark-Up
This week, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee will mark up a bill that will require Senate canddiats to file their campaign finance reports electronically. According to National Journal: