New online campaign finance system goes live - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

New online campaign finance system goes live

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama's campaign filing system is out of the "dark ages" said Secretary of State Beth Chapman during a demonstration Wednesday morning.

"We're introducing a 24-7 reporting system" Chapman said."It's state of the art."

Starting next week, all candidates and Political Action Committees, PACS, will have to use a new online filing system set up by the Secretary of State. It will eliminate the paper system that the state currently uses to track campaign fundraising and expenses.

The state spent $300,000 on the new system that is entirely web-based, and has numerous search and report generating options, elements never available before in Alabama.

Secretary Chapman said, "it's something we've wanted for years and we finally got a law passed that allowed us to do this."

The announcement came on the heels of the legislature approving a campaign finance reform measure in the final hours of the 2013 Regular Session on Monday night. Among other things, the bill would remove the cap on contributions from corporations and make illegal the practice of transfers between in-state and out-of-state PACS.

Fundraising for the 2014 election year begins June 30, and the first mandatory filing date is July 2.

The Secretary of State's office will hold demonstrations of the new system for the next three Wednesdays at 1:30PM in the Capitol Auditorium.

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