Grading State Disclosure 2005 Logo Graphic

W y o m i n g

Grade
Rank
F
50

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Subcategories
Grade
Rank
Campaign Disclosure Law
F
48
Electronic Filing Program
F
38
Disclosure Content Accessibility
F
49
Online Contextual & Technical Usability
F
42

Grading Process green cube Subcategory Weighting green cube Methodology green cube Glossary

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The State of Disclosure in Wyoming

Wyoming’s campaign disclosure program was again found to be the worst in the country, with continuing poor performances in all areas of the study and particularly low rankings in the Campaign Disclosure Law and Disclosure Content Accessibility categories.

Under Wyoming’s disclosure law, which ranked 48th in the nation, candidates report the name and address of contributors giving over $25, but not their occupation, employer or cumulative amount donated. Last-minute contributions are not reported until after Election Day. Candidates do not file information about campaign expenditures until after the election, and even then are not required to disclose information about subvendors or accrued expenses. The law does not require the reporting of independent expenditures, and its enforcement provisions are also lacking, particularly in the areas of desk review and field auditing. Though Wyoming law allows for the electronic filing of campaign reports, the legislature still has not appropriated the funds necessary for the Secretary of State’s office to develop an e-filing program.

The lack of electronic filing is one reason Wyoming still does not have any campaign finance data on its disclosure web site, but that alone should not stop the state from publishing records online. Ten other states without electronic filing either scan reports or data-enter the records to create online access to candidates’ filings. As it is, the only way to view campaign disclosure reports in Wyoming is to request copies of them from the Secretary of State’s office at $.15 per page or visit that agency in person to browse the paper filings. Providing access to records only on paper is not enough to ensure the public’s ability to easily “follow the money” in Wyoming, and is the reason for the state’s F in the Disclosure Content Accessibility category.

The Secretary of State’s web site features some useful contextual information—including a campaign guide that details reporting deadlines and other disclosure requirements, and provides information about contribution limits and other campaign finance restrictions—but these resources are not enough to raise Wyoming’s grade for Online Contextual and Technical Usability above an F. The web site does not contain a list of the total amounts raised and spent by all state-level candidates, something that is weighted heavily in this category, and the state’s usability test score was very low due to the lack of campaign records online.

Quick Fix:  Post even a small amount of campaign finance data on the Internet, such as summary totals for gubernatorial or other high-profile candidates.

♦ Editor’s Pick:  Lists of candidate committees on the disclosure web site go back to 1998. View image

Disclosure Agency: Secretary of State
Disclosure Web Site:
http://soswy.state.wy.us

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This page was first published on October 26, 2005
| Last updated on October 26, 2005
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Campaign Disclosure Project. All rights reserved.