Frank LaRose

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose visits Pickaway County BoE.

CIRCLEVILLE — For those interested in learning how their candidates receive their funding, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has announced a new method for the public to track campaign finance.

During the previous General Assembly, SB 107 was passed and signed into law. The legislation will allow campaign finance reports for local candidates and committees to be filed electronically with county boards of elections. Previously, the only option for voters to obtain a report was to contact their county board of elections.

Beginning this month, and in advance of the upcoming campaign finance deadline on Jan. 29, any local candidate or committee may choose to use to submit their report. By doing so, they’ll make it far easier for voters to view campaign finance reports online.

“It’s more efficient for local candidates and their treasurers, but perhaps more important than that is that it makes local campaign finance more transparent,” LaRose said. “It provides better opportunities for journalists, or students, or researchers to look at where candidates are getting their money and what it’s being spent on. In 2021, we expect that kind of transparency, and that’s exactly what you get with this new system.”

The Pickaway County Board of Elections shared that the program is voluntary and that they are available to assist candidates.

“We are looking forward to working with candidates and their committees with the new online filing system,” John Howley, deputy director, said. “Many of them already are completing the forms on their computers, so I think the ability to save the steps of printing and bringing them to our office will be seen as a welcomed time-saver.”

“Because BOe-file is a voluntary program, we’re unsure how many committees will be early adopters,” Howley said. “I would anticipate seeing the numbers grow significantly within the next year or so once people realize the convenience it offers them.”

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