Mississippi has a new campaign finance filing option - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi has a new campaign finance filing option

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Information like who's giving money to Mississippi's candidates and which ones are taking it is all available now, but it takes a lot of digging on the Secretary of State's website.

The newly unveiled system doesn't have any info in it yet.

Elected officials will have to voluntarily use it, instead of paper filing. Once the details are in the system, you'll be able to cross check everything from a candidate, political action committee and donors.

"I think it's a transparency thing and I think it's in accuracy thing," explained Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

Since it hasn't been electronic, several of the filings are handwritten, which is another reason Hosemann said e-filings will help the public.

"It will be easier to read," he noted. "With all due respect those of us that may scribble more than we need, a lot of times you can't tell what's on there."

The Secretary of State's office will encourage elected officials to use it and want to ask the legislature to make it a requirement by 2020.

Representative Jay Hughes is still skeptical.

"It is a step in the right direction, but it may very well be a day late and a dollar short," noted Hughes. "Voluntary means nothing. Voluntary would be as effective here as it would be if speed limits were voluntary."

They'll try for campaign finance reform again this year, but Hosemann thinks things like requiring itemized credit card receipts would help make the online filing more complete.

"It ought not to be like American Express, $29," said Hosemann. "That doesn't tell you much of anything."

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