Transparency key to campaign finance reform in Mississippi

Mississippi politicians are required to regularly file campaign finance reports, and those reports, posted online by the secretary of state, are supposed to show the public details of the money they took in and spent.

But often, none of the above is the case.

For starters, Mississippi’s campaign finance records are kept online as PDFs, or pictures of each page of a report. They can’t be easily searched or tallied for donors or spending. Many other states’ and federal records are in searchable databases. Many Mississippi reports are handwritten, and some don’t use the state forms. One candidate for statewide office last year did hers in calligraphy. Continue…