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Secretary of State’s office disables...

Secretary of State’s office disables online campaign finance reporting portal

By: Sarah Ulmer - July 3, 2023

Issues with online filings have been reported, prompting the office to disable the option and require candidates and political committees to file a physical copy of reports.

According to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s (SOS) office, the online campaign finance filing system is being disabled due to concerns over reliability.

The next deadline for candidates in current elections to file campaign finance reports is July 10. However, this time it will have to be done physically.

The change comes after reports of issues with the online filing system. Those issues included incorrect itemization not showing, missing signatures that had been provided, no filings showing on the SOS side despite candidates doing so, and signatures or file stamps appearing on documents before they were actually filed.

“Mississippians rely on the Secretary of State’s Office as a source for trusted information. If our office lacks confidence in a system to function efficiently and effectively, I am certainly not going to present it to the public,” said Secretary of State Michael Watson. “We are currently working to replace the outdated system and will have it procured and installed as quickly as possible.”

Candidates must now file campaign finance reports either via email, in person, mailed, of faxed.

All candidates running for public office or political committees supporting or opposing a candidate for election in Mississippi are required to file campaign finance reports. Groups have until 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day to file reports, or they are considered late.

The Secretary of State’s office outlines when periodic reporting is required during an election cycle. For 2023, filers must file reports a total of nine times, with a tenth required in January of 2024 that encompasses October through December 31 of 2023. Reporting schedules are typically linked to the date of an election.

Mississippians may still access the campaign finance search function of the SOS website located here to see the candidates’ reports.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: