FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 29, 2016
Macomb County Clerk makes it easy to follow the money in county and local campaigns
It is easier to follow county and local campaign money in Macomb County because the county clerk's website shows detailed information on campaign contributions by individuals and political action committees, or PACs. A company's influence on local elections can also be tracked by searching for contributors' employers. The Macomb County Clerk also posts online a list of campaign committees that owe fines for violating campaign finance rules.
"This will help make campaign contributions more open and transparent," said the Macomb County Clerk. "Campaign finance information does not belong to the candidates. It belongs to the people of Macomb County."
The Primary Election is Tuesday, August 2 and polls are open from 7 am - 8 pm. The pre-primary campaign finance filing deadline was last Friday. Sabaugh’s office completed posting all campaign finance reports online on the filing deadline. The Macomb County Clerk also makes it possible to search by contributor name, employer name and even contribution amounts.
The information available on the Macomb County Clerk’s website includes:
Campaign contributions and expenditures.
The ability to search and sort by dollar amounts; for example, to see a candidate’s largest contributions, and to which other campaigns the donor contributed.
Which candidates get contributions from employees of a specific company and the total list of contributions given to candidates by that company’s employees. State law requires those who contribute more than $100 to disclose their occupation and employer information.
A link from individual contributions to the specific pages of the campaign finance report where the donations appear.
Committees may request a reporting waiver if they do not raise or spend more than $1,000.
Macomb County campaign finance reports may be viewed from the county clerk’s website at http://macomb.mi.campaignfinance.us/
The list of committees that owe fines for violating campaign finance rules may be viewed from the county clerk’s web site at http://macomb.mi.campaignfinance.us/iOutstandingLFFs.php
In 2010, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a Lansing-based nonpartisan watchdog organization, said Sabaugh’s campaign finance reporting system was a first among Michigan's 83 counties and, "Macomb County's campaign finance reporting system is the most transparent in Michigan for reporting county and local political money."
The county purchased the initial system through the competitive bid process. The system is provided by Consulting Engineering Associates, Inc. The county paid $259,600 in 2004. The county has paid $10,000 annually for maintenance and support since 2014.
The Macomb County Clerk has made other improvements to election administration, including:
- Competitively bidding election supplies, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Implementing an online anti-fraud absent voter tracking system to let voters track their absentee ballots and confirm local clerks receive them in time to be counted.
- Hiring student election inspectors, letting students learn and earn, and training a new generation of poll workers.
- Placing Macomb County among the most accountable in Michigan by putting county and local candidates' campaign finance reports on the Internet free of charge.
- Promoting absent voting to those legally entitled to do so, including making it easier for overseas military members to cast an absent voter ballot.
- Posting a list online of those who owe fines to the county for campaign finance law violations.
- Accepting fax filing for campaign finance reports and payments.
- Receiving National Association of Counties “good government” awards for campaign finance workshops, putting campaign finance reports on the Web, student election inspectors, and the online absent voter tracking system.
- Archived election results back to 1838 are available online.
- Providing text and email reminders for upcoming elections
The Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds has received 65 National Association of Counties “good government” awards during her career for creating innovative programs to improve service.
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