Nevada Secretary Of State Launches Aurora, A Searchable Database For Campaign Finance Information

CARSON CITY – Nevada voters can now be better informed than ever before with the Wednesday launch of Aurora, a user-friendly, searchable database for all campaign and public officer finance disclosures, Secretary of State Ross Miller said today.

Aurora, which can be accessed directly through the Secretary of State’s homepage, will provide a new level of insight into who is funding campaigns, and how those funds are being spent, he said.

“We named it Aurora because it provides illumination as to how campaigns and our elected representatives are funded,” Miller said. “A healthy, vital democracy requires well-informed voters, and Aurora offers voters the opportunity to get more information more quickly, and consequently make better informed decisions at the polls.

“Aurora is a logical extension to the new campaign filing laws that went into effect Jan. 1 of this year,” he said. “As a result of Assembly Bill 452, passed in the last Legislature, candidates are now required to report their campaign contribution and expense reports, and financial disclosure statements electronically with my office. So it makes sense to have that information as accessible as possible to Nevada voters.”

Aurora includes many new features not previously available to Nevada. It will allow users to search and sort all filed Contributions & Expense (C&E) Reports and Financial Disclosure Statements (FDS), and also has the ability to export search results into Excel, CSV and PDF formats for additional sorting and usage.

The Contribution Search and Expenditure Search functions will allow users to search results by the following criteria:
- Individual Candidates
- Political Races
- Groups
- Contributions, including by amount, date range and similar addresses
- Contributors
- Expenditure Recipients

Aurora will also include future expanded services offered by other divisions of the Secretary of State’s office.

Secretary of State Ross Miller.

“We’re maximizing the potential of our (Information Technology) capacity,” Miller said. “In all the divisions in my office, digital services are our best opportunity to serve the most Nevadans effectively and efficiently.”

Additional enhancements planned for later phases of Aurora include:
- More user-friendly filing features
- Resident Agent Searches
- Penalties Searches
- Hotlinks to the corporate details pages for corporate contributors and recipients
- Reports comparing original v. amended reports
- Online Group Registrations (e.g. Political Action Committees)

Deployment of Aurora will begin at 12 a.m. tonight following the close of the current FDS and C&E Report filing period. The system will be offline for a short time period during deployment and will be up and fully functioning by the start of business on Wednesday. Aurora is and will continue to be a technological build completed solely by the Secretary of State’s Information Technology staff at no additional cost to taxpayers.

As the state’s chief elections officer, Miller said he supports fair and transparent campaigns in an effort to restore the public’s faith in the electoral process.

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Audio clips:

Secretary of State Ross Miller says the current search process is difficult:

011712Miller1 :17 pages of reports.”

Miller says the new searchable database will bring a whole new level of transparency to campaign finance:

011712Miller2 :21 campaign finance transparency.”