Some of the most interesting reading one can find are the campaign financial reports of candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, in statewide elections.  It is not uncommon to see a contributor unexpectedly giving to someone, or to find people spending their campaign funds on things you don’t understand.

But it is very useful information to have as you do your political homework.

You begin by going to the Alabama Secretary of State website.

Click on Elections on the left menu.

Click on View Campaign Finance Reports on right menu.

You are then asked if you want to see electronic filings or paper filings.  Electronic filings began with the 2014 statewide election cycle.  Prior to that you will need to use paper filings.

If you choose electronic filings you will clink on search database.

At this point you will need to select either principal campaign committee or PAC search.  The first choice takes you to information for individual candidates, the second to information about political action committees.  (A note of caution, you have to use the EXACT name of a political action committee to be successful.)

Here you enter the candidate’s last name and then search.  If you have held your tongue just so, at this point you should be able to access the actual campaign reports.

After selecting a report, go to bottom of page and click view filed report.

To print a report, go to select format at top of page.  (I select PDF)  Click export.  At this point on my computer a menu comes to the bottom of the screen and I click on open.

Then hit the print icon at the top of the page.  (With electronic filings this will print the entire report.  With paper filings you will have to print each section of the report individually.)

And don’t ignore the in-kind contributions section as many PACs provide services such as polling or printing instead of writing a check to a candidate.

Disclaimer: this is how it works for me.  And hopefully for you as well.  However, I do not make a money back guarantee that all computers and all software work just as mine does.

Happy Hunting.