The County of Santa Clara
California

Board Referral
70266

Direct Administration to report through Finance and Government Operations Committee on steps needed, including needed resources and timeline, for the Registrar of Voters (ROV) to make all Fair Political Practices Commission reports filed with the ROV beginning January 1, 2014, accessible and searchable online. (Chavez)

Information

Department:Supervisor Cindy Chavez (Supervisorial District Two)Sponsors:
Category:Board Referral

Body

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

No significant fiscal impact from report-back.

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

California’s Fair Political Practices Act requires candidates, committees and others to file campaign finance reports relating to County elections and most local government elections with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.  Not all of these filings are available on-line, which requires interested members of the public to physically visit the Registrar of Voters to review these reports.  Other jurisdictions which receive campaign reports do make them all available on-line.  In particular, all campaign reports relating to State elections in Santa Clara County are already available on-line from the Secretary of State and those relating to San Jose elections are available on-line from the City Clerk.  As we seek to make governance transparent and accountable, making all local election campaign reports in the County accessible on-line is the best practice.

In addition, these filings are not easily searchable on-line.  This means that interested members of the public, to ascertain patterns of financial contributions by individuals and groups, need to comb through individual campaign reports one at a time.  This is a cumbersome process, which does not meet our County’s standards of transparency and accountability in County governance.

Campaign finance reports can be made available by scanning the hard copy report into a pdf file (either by the Registrar or by the required reporter) or by requiring that the report be filed on-line by appropriate software.  Campaign finance reports can be made searchable by requiring that the report be filed on-line by appropriate software. 

This referral directs the Administration to identify the steps necessary to make all campaign reports in Santa Clara County available and searchable on-line, including the needed resources and timeline. 

Meeting History

Jan 28, 2014 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Cindy Chavez, Supervisor
SECONDER:Ken Yeager, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian