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Search, view and download campaign finance data filed with the Secretary of State's office. Under Ohio Revised Code 3517.106(E), information will be provided within five days of an entity filing data with the Secretary of State's office.

Simple Search Simple Search: A broad search of the database based upon a small amount of user-provided information.
Advanced Search Advanced Search: Search the database based on multiple criteria.
FTP Site FTP Site: Obtain large sets of pre-sorted data. Campaign finance data filed prior to 2000 is available only on this site.

 

Helpful Hints | About the Database | Data History | Types Of Reports

 

Helpful Hints

 

Getting data from the “Search Candidates and Committees” Queries

What kind of campaign finance data are you looking for? The answer to this question will determine which queries you will need to use. Our Search Candidates and Committees Web page is divided into five tabs:

These tabs are:

1. Candidates/PAC/Party

This tab is divided into two sections:

SIMPLE SEARCH: This option offers a very broad search of the database based upon a small amount of user-provided information such as a name of a contributor or candidate.

ADVANCED SEARCH: This option allows the user to query the database based upon multiple known criteria.   Examples of advanced searches would be a search on all contributions to a particular candidate within a specific time frame or a search on all PAC cover pages for the 2010 Pre-Primary report.

The Simple Search was designed for users who want to search on a single piece of information such as a name.  The search will return all committees, contributions, expenditures and loan/debts that have that name somewhere in the data.  You can also limit your search with a date range:

The Advanced Search has more options and allows the user to search on different categories of data such as committees, cover pages, contributions and expenditures:

Each of these is designed to assist in the retrieval of a certain type of campaign finance information.

Committee information
This search will allow you to locate the committee name, address, treasurer and PAC number (when applicable).  This feature will also take you to a list of the reports filed by this entity.  Cover page, contribution and expenditure detail of a specific report can be accessed via this method.   The result of this search is displayed on the screen and can be printed.  The results may also be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet. Please note that if you search on a candidate, only the most recent office sought will be listed.

Cover Page Information
This feature allows you to query on candidate, parties/LCFs and PACs cover pages based on such criteria as office, district, year, etc.  This is useful for comparison of balances on hand or the amount of money raised.  This information can be viewed in on the screen or easily downloaded into Excel.

Contribution Information
This feature is used to determine if a particular individual or committee has contributed to a candidate, party/LCF or PAC/PCE.   It can also be used to look at the contributions a committee reported receiving.  This information can be viewed on the screen, printed or easily downloaded into Excel.

Expenditure Information
This feature is used to look at the expenditures a committee(s) made or to search on a particular name to determine if a committee has made such an expenditure.  This information can be viewed on the screen, printed or easily downloaded into Excel.

Items 2,3 & 4 represent three different types of entities. While the type of query options (cover page, income, expenses, etc) for these entities may be similar to those above, the wording of queries is not the same.

2. State Retirement System Board (SRB)
Since 2005, candidates for election to the boards of one of Ohio’s five public employee retirement systems are required to file campaign finance reports if they receive contributions or make expenditures to get elected.    The five retirement systems are:

  • Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
  • State Teachers Retirement System
  • School Employees Retirement System
  • Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund
  • State Highway Patrol Retirement System

Retirement Systems

On this page, three search options will be available:

  • SRB Committees
  • SRB Candidate Contributions
  • SRB Candidate Expenditures

3. Electioneering Communications (EC)

Electioneering Communication is any communication that refers to a candidate and that is distributed via a broadcast, cable or satellite means and is not otherwise considered an expenditure

.


On this page, six search options will be available
  • ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION ENTITY (ECE) SEARCH
  • ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION ENTITIES (ECE) SUMMARY PAGES
  • CONTRIBUTIONS TO ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION ENTITIES (ECE)
  • ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION ENTITIES (ECE) DISBURSEMENTS
  • CANDIDATES IDENTIFIED IN ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION
  • NOTICE OF INTENT TO MAKE ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION DISBURSEMENTS

4. Transition Funds

Starting in 2010, officeholders elected or appointed to any elective office may set up a separate account to receive donations to pay the cost of inaugural or transitional activities.  This transition fund is separate from the candidate’s campaign committee and may only be open for no more than 120 days.



On this page there are four search options:

  • Transition Committees
  • Cover Pages
  • Transition Donations
  • Transition Disbursements

Please feel free to contact Campaign Finance staff for additional assistance at (614) 466 – 3111 or by e-mail.

5. File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The FTP system is the method by which large amounts of some of the most commonly requested campaign finance data have already been queried and placed in a downloadable file.  An example of the data available would be all Candidate Contributions for the Year 2009.  The primary target audiences of the FTP system are the media, academics and other person or organization looking for large amounts of campaign finance data.
FTP Information

Hints for using the Download FTP Reports
The key to using the FTP site is remembering that it was designed to assist users to access large amounts of campaign finance data easily. Once at the main FTP page you will see a long list of candidate, party and PAC files. To download a file click on the “download” link on the far right of the screen. The system will then proceed to download the file into excel or provide you will an opportunity  to download the file to the location on your computer (the settings on your computer will dictate this). You may see a series of dialog boxes on your screen asking you if you want to run or save the zipped .exe file.   Follow the dialog boxes for whichever you chose telling the computer where you want the files saved. The end result will be a .csv file that you can open in Excel or some other database application. Please remember that some of the files may be too large to open in Excel and will need to be opened in some other type of database application.
Please feel free to contact Campaign Finance staff for additional assistance at (614) 466 – 3111 or by e-mail.

DISCLAIMER - PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS IN THIS DATABASE CONTAIN BOTH AUDITED AND UNAUDITED DATA. AS REPORTS ARE AUDITED AND AMENDED, IF NECESSARY, THE DATA MAY CHANGE.  THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AVAILABLE IS REFLECTED ON THE DATABASE.

 

 

About the Database


The campaign finance databases contain information on campaign finance committees; including cover page figures, contribution data and expenditure information. The following types of committees are included in the database:

Candidates Campaign Committees   

Attorney General 

Auditor of State

Governor

Judge, State Court of Appeals

Secretary of State 

State House of Representatives

State Senate

State Board of Education

State Retirement Boards

Supreme Court Chief Justice

Supreme Court Justice

Treasurer of State

Political Parties

State Political Party Funds
County Political Party Funds (State Candidate Fund and Restricted Funds only)

Other Committees

Political Action Committees (PACs)
Political Contributing Entities (PCEs)
Legislative Campaign Funds (LCFs)
Electioneering Communication Entities

Transition Funds

The campaign finance database covers from 1990 to present.  Users using the query system can search only on data from 2000 to present. However, each type of committees does not have data for that entire period.  The section on data history details what data is available for each type of reporting entity.   Campaign Finance data for the years prior to 2000 is available on the FTP page. 

Campaign Finance Reports of Federal Candidates and Committees can be viewed from the Federal Elections Commission’s Web site at www.fec.gov.

DISCLAIMER-PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS IN THIS DATABASE CONTAINS BOTH AUDITED AND UNAUDITED DATA. AS REPORTS ARE AUDITED, THE DATA MAY CHANGE. THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AVAILABLE IS REFLECTED ON THE DATABASE

 

 

 

 

Data History

 

The campaign finance database contains information for the committees below for the following years*:


Candidates for Statewide office

1990 to present

Candidates for General Assembly

1995 to present

Candidates for Judge, State Court of Appeals

2005 to present

Candidates for State Retirement System Boards

2005 to present

State Political Party Political Accounts

1990 to present

State Political Party State Candidate Funds

1998 to present

State Political Party Building Funds 

1991 to present

State Political Party Restricted Funds (Formerly Tax Check Off Fund)

1991 to present

State Political Party Levin Fund

2005 to 2006

County Political Party State Candidate Fund

2000 to present

Political Action Committees (PAC)**

1990 to present

Political Contributing Entities (PCE)

1999 to present

Legislative Campaign Fund (LCF) 

1991 to present

Electioneering Communication Entities 

2006 to present

Transition Funds 2010 to present

*Users can search on data only from 2000 to present.    Campaign Finance data older than 2000 is available on the FTP page. 

**Federal PACs-Included in the PAC data is the expenditure date of PACs that are registered with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and that also make expenditures to influence Ohio state or local elections.  These PACs must first register with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office as a Federal, State and Local PAC (FSL). They have a PAC registration number that starts with a C followed by eight numbers. Whenever they file a report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that contains Ohio non-federal disbursements, they must submit a partial copy of that FEC report to the Ohio Secretary of State. Only the Ohio non-federal disbursements are entered into this database.   The total Ohio non federal disbursements are listed on the Cover Page under Total Monetary Expenditures.  Therefore, when looking at the records in the database of an FSL you will generally not see contribution information and the total amount of expenditures in the database will generally not equal the amount on the Cover Page of the report as filed with the FEC. Complete Federal reports may be viewed at the Federal Elections Commission Web site, www.fec.gov.

Please refer to the Ohio Campaign Finance Compliance and Disclosure Guide for a description of each of these types of committees. 

Feel free to contact Campaign Finance staff for additional assistance at (614) 466 – 3111 or by e-mail.

Disclaimer- PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS IN THIS DATABASE CONTAIN BOTH AUDITED AND UNAUDITED DATA. AS REPORTS ARE AUDITED, THE DATA MAY CHANGE.  THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AVAILABLE IS REFLECTED ON THE DATABASE

 

 

 

Types of Reports

There are five main types of campaign finance reports filed by most candidates, committees, and political parties:

  • A pre-election report is due by 4 p.m. 12 days before an election and reflects contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the twentieth day before the election.
  • A post-election report is due by 4 p.m. 38 days after the election and reflects contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the last previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the seventh day before the filing of the statement.
  • A semiannual report is due by 4 p.m on the last business day of July of every year to reflect contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the last day of June that year. A semiannual report is not required for a year in which the entity has filed a post-primary report. Please refer to the Ohio Campaign Finance Handbook to determine whether a committee must file a semiannual in a year in which the post-primary report was not filed.
  • An annual report is due by 4 p.m. on the last business day of January of every year to reflect contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the last previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the last day of December of the previous year. An annual report is not required for a year in which the entity has filed a post-general election report.
  • A monthly report is filed by statewide candidates only for the months of July, August, and September when statewide candidates are on the general election ballot. The monthly statements show contributions only for each calendar month and are filed by the third business day of the following month.

Federal State and Local PACs (FLSs) – these are federal committees that wish to make disbursements to Ohio non-federal candidates, committees and political parties.   They file a partial copy of the report they file with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).  These reports are sequentially designated as Federal, Federal1, Federal2, etc.  These reports will not have a complete cover page and will contain only the disbursements to Ohio non-federal committees.

Other reports- there are other types of reports that will show up in the disclosure database without any numeric information.  These represent the filing of various types of forms required by the statute by committees.  These filings include:

  • Designation of Treasurer (Form 30-D) – the registration form for committees allowing a committee to start raising contributions and making expenditures.  This form is also used to update committee information such as treasurer or address. 
  • Special – this form is used to reflect the filing by a committee of an Electronic Filing Registration (Form 30-D-1)
  • Other – used to reflect the filing by a committee of some sort of correspondence or documents.
  • Termination – used to indicate that the committee is now in inactive status.  Not all inactive committees file Termination reports.  Some committees will indicate their inactive status with the filing of a regular report. Some Termination reports will have contribution and expenditure data.
  • Waiver of Declaration of Filing Day Finances (Form 31-AA), Permissive Funds Report and Declaration of Filing Day Finances (Form 31-W) - these are special reports that candidates for statewide and general assembly file in the year in which they submit petitions.
  • Statement of Organization – this is the registration form for committees filing with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).  A federal committee that wishes to make disbursements to Ohio non-federal candidates, committees and political parties (FSL) must submit a copy of the Statement of Organization prior to making those disbursements.
Special Entity Type Reports

The Ohio Secretary of State also receives campaign finance filings from several other types of committees.  These include candidates for one of the State Retirement Boards (STB), Electioneering Communication Entities and Transition Funds.  These committees will file the following reports types:

State Retirement Boards – these candidates will file Pre & Post Special Elections Reports.

Electioneering Communication Entities – Electioneering Communication filings do not have a report type.  The date of the filing serves as the report type.  These entities file a Notice of Intent to Make Electioneering Communication Disbursements (Form 31-EC) to get started.

Transition Funds - These entities will file a series of reports which will be labeled Transition 1, Transition 2, etc.  These committees file a Designation of Transition Fund Treasurer (Form 30-T) to get started.

Please see the Campaign Finance Handbook for more information on the various reporting entities and their reporting requirements.

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