FEC: US Senate candidates should file campaign reports electronically

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Congress should require U.S. Senate candidates and their committees to file campaign finance data electronically rather than on paper, the Federal Election Commission said Wednesday in its annual list of recommendations for campaign finance law changes. The law already requires some electronic filing by candidates, but because Senate candidates file with the Secretary of the Senate, the electronic filing requirement doesn’t apply to them. Legislation has been introduced to require the electronic filing. “Compared to data from paper reports, data from electronically filed reports is received, processed and disseminated more easily and efficiently, resulting in better use of resources,” the commission said.  “In fact, the Commission estimates at least $430,000 per year in costs directly attributable to current Senate filing procedures would be saved by requiring electronic filing. …. Reports that are filed electronically are normally available, and may be downloaded, within minutes.  In contrast, the time between the receipt of a  report filed through the paper filing system and its initial appearance on the Commission’s web site is 48 hours.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.