FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 16, 1997

CONTACT: Kim Alexander
(916) 325-2120
email: kimalex@netcom.com


„DIGITAL SUNLIGHTš SWEEPING THE NATION
INTERNET ACCESS TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE DATA
ADVANCES IN SEVERAL STATES


Sacramento -- „Digital sunlightš is sweeping the nation, according to a
progress report issued today by the California Voter Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan group promoting Internet access to campaign finance data. According to the report, seven states, including California, have made dramatic progress in recent months to mandate electronic filing of, and online access to campaign disclosure records.

„People may disagree about how to best address the issue of money in politics, but improving public access to disclosure data is one issue where there is growing consensus,š according to Kim Alexander, executive director of the California Voter Foundation and author of the report.

The report outlines recent efforts in Maryland, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Indiana and California to shine a brighter light into the dark corners of campaign financing. „Politicians across the country are responding to the public‚s demand for better access to campaign finance data,š Alexander said. „Politicians are saying „yesš to electronic filing, and „yesš to online disclosure. They are realizing that by moving from a paper-based disclosure process to a digital one, we can provide the public with timely, accurate and meaningful access to campaign contributions and expenditures.š

However, the report also notes that while the concept of „digital sunlightš is catching on, issues such as privacy, software and authentication still need to be worked out. Next month, representatives from more than a dozen states will gather in Chicago to consider how states can work together to ease the transition into digital disclosure. „We hope that the Chicago conference will mark the beginning of a long-term, collaborative effort,š said Bob Watada, director of Hawaii‚s Campaign Spending Commission and coordinator of the Chicago conference.

The progress report includes contact information for each state evaluated, and is available in a hyperlinked format at the Digital Sunlight Web site at:

http://www.digitalsunlight.org

The report is also available via email and fax; contact the California Voter Foundation at (916) 325-2120, or write to kimalex@netcom.com. Digital Sunlight is a project of the California Voter Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that promotes the use of new technologies to help shape a more informed and engaged electorate.

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This Web page first published 6/16/97

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