More Electronic Filing


Glenn Reynolds notes that both Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are holding up legislation that would make the Senate have to electronically file their campaign finance reports. This process would save the Federal Election Commission about $250,000 and countless hours of work per election cycle, not to mention the numerous other benefits to campaign finance watchers. Now here’s the crazy thing: both Trent Lott and Mitch McConnell already use electronic software to fill out FEC forms. In fact, it is highly likely that they are among the 95% of Senators who use the FEC’s own or recommended software.

According to the Campaign Finance Institute, there is only one Senator who still fills out the forms on paper and that is retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md. Sen. Robert Byrd, R-W.Va., refuses to answer whether he uses electronic software or still fills out forms on paper. 

I can’t quite understand why Lott and McConnell are fighting a battle to keep wasting tax-payer money at the FEC and waste their own office supplies printing out reports that could easily just be sent to the FEC directly. Maybe McConnell is still upset about having to reveal the donor information to the McConnell Center back in the day.