From: Kim Alexander
Subject: Update on online Calif. election and disclosure info
Date: April 2, 1998
This edition of CVF-NEWS features an announcement about the Secretary of State’s new Primary ‘98 Election Web site, a review of the status of electronic filing and online disclosure; a sneak peek at what CVF has planned for our new California Online Voter Guide, and a review of what CVF already has available on our ‘98 Election Preview site.
* * * WHAT’S NEW AT THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S WEB SITE * * *
Great news -- California Secretary of State Bill Jones and his staff have just published their new Primary ‘98 Election web site! You can now access the Certified List of Candidates, which features the names, addresses, occupations, phone numbers and party affiliations of every California candidate running for statewide, congressional or legislative offices this year. You can also peruse the new Ballot Pamphlet & Voter Information Guide online, which features the texts of all nine ballot measures, official pro/con arguments, the Legislative Analyst’s analyses, statements and photos of candidates for statewide office, political party statements and much more. And, once again, you’ll be able to access live election returns on the web via the Secretary of State’s web site.
* * * ONLINE CAMPAIGN DISCLOSURE AND ELECTRONIC FILING * * *
The Secretary of State’s new election homepage also provides information about political disclosure, including an announcement of their plans to replicate the California Voter Foundation’s highly successful Late Contribution Watch program of 1996, when we posted the large, last-minute contributions made to state campaigns on our web site during the final two weeks of the General Election. The Late Contribution Watch program was essentially codified into law when SB 49/Karnette passed last year; however, the provision in the bill that directs the Secretary of State to post last minute contributions on the Web doesn’t take effect until later this year, during the 1998 General Election. Kudos go to Secretary of State Bill Jones, who decided to implement the program early, beginning with the Primary this June.
The Secretary of State’s new Primary web site already features a collection of political disclosure information from the Political Reform Division, such as ballot measure financing for 1996, lobbying expenditure data, and campaign finance statistics for 1997. The mother lode of campaign disclosure data will start being available online this Fall, when California’ new electronic filing and online disclosure program begins. Under SB 49, statewide candidates and ballot measure committees raising or spending $100,000 or more in the General election will be mandated to file their disclosure reports in a digital, as well as paper format. Contributions and expenditures will be available to the public on the Internet immediately after they are disclosed by the candidates and committees.
Mandatory electronic filing and online disclosure for legislative candidates kicks in during the 1999 and 2000 election cycle; however, the Secretary of State will be implementing a VOLUNTARY electronic filing program for legislative candidates beginning this Fall. CVF is planning a major effort to encourage legislative candidates to participate in the Secretary of State’s voluntary electronic filing program this Fall.
The first reports to be filed electronically will cover the period of July 1 - September 30th, and are due to be filed on October 5, 1998. The second round of digital reports will cover the period of October 1 - October 17, and are due October 22. Late contributions of $1,000 or more are required to be disclosed within 24 hours during the final 16 days of the election -- these reports will also be available online at the Secretary of State’s web site.
* * COMING SOON: CVF’S NEW CALIFORNIA ONLINE VOTER GUIDE! * *
Meanwhile, CVF is busy putting together the contents of our forthcoming California Online Voter Guide -- 1998 Primary Edition. I’m proud to say that this is the FOURTH edition of this Internet guide created by CVF, the first dating back to the 1994 General Election. This year’s guide will include articles and analyses from California Journal magazine, profiles of all the legislative and congressional districts, links to campaign web sites and much more. Our new voter guide is scheduled to debut the week of April 27th. We are also producing, for the first time, a printed guide called the Easy Reading Voter Guide. More information on this endeavor will be shared with CVF-NEWS soon.
* * * WHAT’S AVAILABLE NOW FROM CVF * * *
In the meantime, you can already find a lot of useful information at the California Voter Foundation’s newly revised 1998 Election Preview site, available on the Web at http://www.calvoter.org/98primary. On our list of statewide candidates, for example, you will find hyperlinks to official campaign web sites, with more than 80 percent of statewide candidates are already online! Our Campaign Links guestbook features entries from more than 70 political campaigns and organizations, and with new entries being added each day.
* * * WHERE TO FIND IT ON THE WEB * * *
CVF’s Election Preview Site: http://www.calvoter.org/98primary
Secretary of State’s Election ‘98 site: http://Primary98.ss.ca.gov
Secretary of State’s Electronic Filing program: http://efpoc.ss.ca.gov
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