- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission has launched a new campaign finance website that officials say might not address the public’s needs.

The website aimed to give people easier access to information about which political candidates are receiving money and who’s contributing to campaigns, the Lawrence Journal-World (https://bit.ly/1sAZkDq ) reported.

Carol Williams, who heads the commission, said the website won’t address many of the concerns raised in a new national report that says most states have campaign finance websites that are confusing, difficult to navigate and often provide inaccurate information.

Williams said she believes the new website is easier to navigate but that the data itself is still the same. It’s composed mainly of PDFs, which are hard for users to search or navigate because many of them are handwritten.

The secretary of state’s office, not the commission, is responsible for collecting campaign finance reports, Williams said.

The Washington-based Campaign Finance Institute issued a report Wednesday - coincidentally, the same day Kansas’ website was launched - that said most states don’t give citizens adequate access to useful information.

The results were based on a survey of about 1,900 people who visited the disclosure sites of five different states and performed a set of basic searches.

Kansas’ results showed the state ranked about average among the 50 states for the amount of time it took users to find information they were seeking. Users also rated Kansas slightly above average when asked how confident they were in the information they received from the website.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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