Campaign Disclosure Laws
United States
Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Arizona Colorado New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Ohio West Virginia Virginia Washington DC North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Florida Maryland Pennsylvania New Jersey Delaware New York Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Vermont New Hampshire Maine Alaska Hawaii

Campaign spending disclosure laws exist to reduce the possibility of corruption in government. While all states require some type of disclosure from candidates and political committees, the extent of this disclosure varies. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows outside groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns as long as they do not coordinate with candidates, state disclosure laws for these independent spenders are a crucial firewall to ensure voters have the opportunity to know who seeks to influence their elections and public officials.

This report draws on the National Institute of Money in State Politics’ 2014 scorecard on essential disclosure requirements for independent spending to ask whether states apply disclosure laws to any and all groups engaged in political spending and advocacy.

For a more detailed explanation of each factor, including citations, please download the full report.

Click to view scoring methodology
  1. State's Performance
    Points added to score
  2. For state ranked 1
    0 points
  3. Among states ranked 2–5
    1 points
  4. Among states ranked 6-10
    2 points
  5. Among states ranked 11-15
    3 points
  6. Among states ranked 16-20
    4 points
  7. Among states ranked 21-25
    5 points
  8. Among states ranked 26-30
    6 points
  9. Among states ranked 31-35
    7 points
  10. Among states ranked 36-40
    8 points
  11. Among states ranked 41-45
    9 points
  12. Among states ranked 46-51
    10 points
Policy Recommendation for This Factor
Strengthen disclosure laws

State disclosure laws are a critical firewall to ensure that voters have the opportunity to know who may be influencing their elections and their public officials. State independent spending disclosure laws should be strengthened to include the following, taken from the National Institute on Money in State Politics’ “Essential Disclosure Requirements for Independent Spending” scorecard:

  • The existence of an independent expenditure
  • Any electioneering communications
  • The spender’s target
  • The spender’s position (for/against the target)
  • Contributors to independent spenders

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Press Contact: Benton Strong at Bstrong@americanprogressaction.org 202-481-8142

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