Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today is filing day...and SOS website still confusing as heck

Today looks like a filing day for candidates seeking office in 2010. (Although I've got to say, I don't see that information listed in the 2010 candidates' guide posted here on the Secretary of State's web site.)

I do, however, see the date listed in another, separate part of the web site right here, so it seems true.

Wanting to get a head start on the days work and see if anyone has posted anything yet, I looked right here on the site, where I would guess the 2010 campaign finance reports should be. Nothing points me in the direction of 2010 campaign reports. But it is only 9 a.m.

You can, however, find an incredibly confusing and frustrating list of options.

Yep, your choices are to look at "2006/2007 candidate campaign reports not filed electronically, 2008/2009 candidate campaign reports not filed electronically, 2009 biannual campaign reports not filed electronically, filed electronically and submitted on Excel spreadsheet, reports that are "filed electronically and contribution search - all years campaign reports" or to search "prior year candidate & PAC reports." (Prior year to what, I've got to ask.)

So maybe today's reports will be listed under the 2009 section, as this is 2009. (But the elections are in 2010.) So then would I look under reports filed electronically or not? Would I look under "all years campaign reports?" Guess I won't know until some of the filings start showing up. Again, that's something that should be very clear and isn't.

I'm no computer expert here, but it seems simple enough to have one data base of campaign finance reports, not this confusing and meaningless list of choices. How would a voter know if a candidate filed electronically or not? How would a reporter know if a candidate filed on an Excel sheet? In short, we don't know those kinds of things and shouldn't have to to find the public information we are seeking.

Problems with and the inadequacy of the Secretary of State's web site have persisted for years.

When will it change?

No comments:

Post a Comment