Campaign Finance Web site on the Agenda

Ever try to dig deep into the campaign finance data at the Secretary of State’s Web site?

It can be a frustrating experience. The combination of electronically filed information with manually filed info means you’ve got to double- and triple-check searches. Information is often mistakenly entered when filed manually. Some of the electronically filed reports appear to have glitches and fail to show up on the site.

Tonight, a task force will take the first steps toward improving the system.

More on the flip…Rep. Morgan Carroll, the House sponsor of legislation creating the task force, is looking for input over at Square State.

The Rocky Mountain News edit board weighed in Wednesday, opining that Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s plan to get a new system in place in 2009 – after the next election – is moving too slow. Colorado Confidential would ditto that sentiment.

There are plenty of programmers out there with the skill to make such sites comprehensive, easily searchable and straightforward to use. Even journalists manage to accomplish such things. Take a look at the searchable databases at the Center for Public Integrity, for example. Many newsrooms track such info for their own use in internal Intranets.

It’s time for Colorado’s Secretary of State’s office to step up and improve their system — in time to give the public the info it needs for the 2008 election.

We’ll have more on the task force’s first meeting later tonight…

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