Unlike candidates running for the House of Representatives, U.S. Senate candidates are not obligated to file campaign finance reports electronically. Instead, most submit paper copy reports to the Secretary of the Senate, which delays public reports, and most importantly, keeps voters in the dark about who is funding their campaigns. Tester’s bipartisan bill would bring archaic Senate rules into the 21st century and add much needed transparency to campaign finance reporting.
“In the best tradition of Montana’s reformers, Senator Tester is leading the charge to shine a light on money in politics,” said End Citizens United President and Executive Director Tiffany Muller. “The public has a right to know who’s trying to influence and buy our elections. This bill should be a slam dunk and we strongly urge the Senate to pass it.”
According to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, Tester’s electronic filing bill would save taxpayers $500,000 annually. The Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act is popular on both sides of the aisle, with a total of 43 Republican and Democratic co-sponsors. The Federal Elections Commission, an agency tasked with upholding the integrity of U.S. elections, has also praised electronic filing.