Good Intentions on the Way to Hell

Georgia law requires electronically filed campaign finance disclosures, in addition to the filing of paper copies. In my experience, however, municipalities and most counties are ill equipped for electronic filing. In fact, in some cases the local Elections Superintendent does not even know of the requirement and in numerous cases, despite knowledge of the law there is no way to accomplish the goal except for candidates who file with the Secretary of State.

I’m sure Teddy Lee and the State Ethics Commission will take that into account with some folks in Chatham County.

Ignorance of the law, or so the saying goes, is no excuse.

But for nine Chatham County Commission candidates who failed to file required campaign finance reports last year, ignorance may be close enough.

And there appears to be enough ignorance to go around.

The candidates submitted paper reports but not the electronic ones required of local candidates who raised or spent more than $10,000.

People can view paper reports at the county elections office. Electronic filing requirements are intended to make the information available online.

Electronic filing should happen exclusively through the Secretary of State’s office to make it more convenient and available for municipal and county level candidates. It will also make it easier for good government types to have a one stop shop to review campaign finance disclosures.

One comment

  1. Bill Simon says:

    All that takes is A) a law, and B) more money allocated to the SOS to set-up such a system.

    To me, it would be great. But, it would take the building of another disclosure Website (because I don’t want to have to pull-down a huge drop-down list of names that includes state senators, reps, judges, and city council members and/or county commissioners) and that will take money and personnel.

    BUT, I’m certain Karen Handel could delegate that task well, were she to become the new SOS, and get it accompished. I doubt very seriously that Bill Stephens would be competent in that type of environment for that. Look at his own problems with his own disclosures. Sheesh! That’s all we need is to have an incompetent buffoon allowed to be put in charge of a department largely responsible for record-keeping.

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