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Summary of Findings

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The public’s ability to access campaign finance information on the state level has improved over the course of the Campaign Disclosure Project’s history. The 2007 assessment highlights the states’ continuing trend of making improvements to their campaign disclosure programs. Grading State Disclosure 2007 found that state campaign disclosure laws and practices in 36 states achieved passing grades, while 14 states were found to have unsatisfactory programs and received failing grades. Two states achieved their first passing grades since the 2003 assessment, and none of the states that passed in 2005 failed in 2007. In 2007, 21 states earned a higher grade, 28 states received the same letter grade, and only one state received a lower grade than in 2005.

Campaign Disclosure Laws
Electronic Filing Programs
Disclosure Content Accessibility
Online Contextual and Technical Usability

Charts, Maps and Statistics

For the fourth time, the state of Washington ranked number one in the study, earning an A- again in 2007. As in 2005, Washington earned the study’s only grade in the A range, though 17 earned Bs in 2007, up from ten in the previous study. Thirteen total states received grades in the C range, the same amount as in 2005. Five states earned Ds in 2007 (down from ten in 2005) and 14 states earned Fs, two less than reported in 2005.

The five states that improved most in 2007 are: Oregon, with a change in grade from C- to B+, jumped from 24th to 3rd in the rankings; South Carolina, with a change from an F to a D+, moved up from 49th to 33rd; New York and Colorado each improved from a D+ to a B-, with New York moving from 29th to 16th and Colorado’s rank moving from 26th to 15th; and Pennsylvania’s grade improved from a D to a C+, and its rank moved from 30th to 22nd.

  • The states with the best overall disclosure programs in 2007, in rank order from one to ten, are: Washington (A-); California (B+); Oregon (B+); Florida and Hawaii (B+, tied for 4th); Michigan (B); Virginia (B); Georgia (B); Illinois (B); and New Jersey and Ohio (B, tied for 10th).
  • The states with the weakest disclosure programs (all receiving Fs) in 2007, in rank order from 41 to 50, are: Delaware and Nebraska (tied for 41st); New Hampshire; Nevada; North Dakota; Mississippi; Montana; South Dakota; Alabama; and Wyoming.
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First published October 16, 2007 | Last updated October 17, 2007
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