Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NorCo Finance Reports No Longer Online

In Lehigh County, campaign finance reports filed by candidates for county-wide office have been available since 2009, and can be accessed on my left sidebar. Dean Browning, the driving force behind this exercise in transparency, called it "one small item but certainly something local governments can easily do to make things more accessible."

Northampton County followed Lehigh's lead in 2011, and began posting campaign finance reports online, too. But instead of restricting it to county offices, the finance reports being published were from everyone seeking office.

That might have been too much.

Elections Registrar Dee Rumsey confirmed yesterday that her office stopped posting the reports online for this November's election. Short on manpower, she said it was just too much, especially as the reports come in at a time when her office is busy getting ready for an election.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Or is there a more nefarious reason behind this???


The Third Eye

Anonymous said...

Take report, scan and post... how can that take more then 5 minutes? Literally.... 5 minutes. If it doesn't there is something wrong with whatever system is being used.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem posts reports for the city candidates, but I heard they may stop. True?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Or is there a more nefarious reason behind this???"

No. The office is swamped, especially when those reports are being filed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Take report, scan and post... how can that take more then 5 minutes? Literally.... 5 minutes."

Sounds simple, right? Each report is a good ten pages. Some are 50 pages. There are numerous county-wide candidates. It would take at least two man-days to get all that information scanned, and they simply do not have the time when those reports are being filed. I believe the elections office is very hard working. I hope some solution can be found down the road.

I actually prefer looking at the reports in person, but this is not possible for most people.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bethlehem posts reports for the city candidates, but I heard they may stop. True?"

I'm told the argument was that there is no need to do it bc it is being done by the county. That argument just went away.

Anonymous said...

BOH oh I know how long they can be. And also how many are processed.

I still stand by comment. Maybe not minutes but certainly not days. I own a small business and we scan all relevant documents and store electronically. We have a basic consumer laser printer that can scan. It has a auto feed feature. We're talking a 300 dollar staples printer. I'm sure the county has beefier units.

Even if it's a 50 page document, or even (10) 50 page documents someone could easily scan and upload them to a website in literally minutes....

There is no way anyone can convince me the labor is in simple scanning and uploading documents en masse to electronic format. MAYBE if it's some antiquated website or IT process that may take a little bit of time but not days. No way.

Two days to get scanned... No way maybe if by scanning you mean hand transcribing with pencil and paper would it take days.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I sure hope that there is a way to streamline it. Last night, I had to scan one page for this blog. Just one. It ended up taking me an hour. But I see your point.

Anonymous said...

What did you expect? Stofa is gone. He would not have allowed this to happen.