Grading State Disclosure 2008 Logo Graphic

N e v a d a

Grade
Rank
F
45

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Subcategories
Grade
Rank
Campaign Disclosure Law
F
47
Electronic Filing Program
F
31
Disclosure Content Accessibility
F
45
Online Contextual & Technical Usability
D+
32

Grading Process green cube Subcategory Weighting green cube Methodology green cube Glossary

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The State of Disclosure in Nevada

Nevada has earned an F in the last four assessments after having earned a D in Grading State Disclosure 2003. The state slipped one place to 45th in the rankings in 2008, though a stronger performance on the usability test moved Nevada from a D to a D+ in the Online Contextual and Technical Usability category.

Nevada slipped one spot lower in the Campaign Disclosure Law rankings to 47th in 2008, again earning an F in this area. Candidates must disclose the names of contributors giving more than $100, but a donor’s occupation, employer, and cumulative amount given are not reported. Expenditure disclosure is stronger, with expenses over $100 itemized, though payments made by subvendors are not. Disclosure of loans and independent expenditures is weak, as are the law’s enforcement provisions. Electronic filing is not required in Nevada, though 22 percent of statewide and legislative candidates have participated in a voluntary program.

Nevada earned its last passing grade in the accessibility category in 2003 when the Secretary of State’s web site featured a searchable database of electronically-filed reports. Since the database was removed prior to the 2004 assessment, Nevada has not earned another passing grade in this category. The Secretary of State’s office provides immediate, online access to electronically-filed reports, and scanned copies of paper-filed reports are posted online within a day of receipt. Both types of reports are presented in a static HTML or PDF format that does not allow data to be sorted online or downloaded for offline analysis, making it difficult for site visitors to locate a specific contribution or campaign expense.

A stronger performance on the 2008 usability test earned Nevada a D+ in 2008 in the Online Contextual and Technical Usability category. The Secretary of State’s web site was redesigned in 2007 and usability testers were able to perform their tasks more quickly than before the redesign, though confusion over the site’s terminology was reported again in 2008. The disclosure site offers a good amount of contextual information to the public, including disclosure requirements and a thorough description of the data available online. To help the public view a single candidate’s fundraising and spending within the context of campaign finance trends in the state, the agency could add simple comparisons of the totals raised and spent by candidates for each office during each election period.

Quick Fix: Add the office sought by each candidate to the alphabetical list of filers. Currently, the listing provides only the name of candidates and site visitors may not know which office each candidate is seeking.

Editor’s Pick: The Secretary of State’s homepage offers a direct link to the “Candidate Contribution & Expense Report Search” page. View image

Disclosure Agency: Secretary of State
Disclosure Web Site:
http://www.sos.state.nv.us

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First published September 17, 2008
| Last updated October 13, 2008
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Campaign Disclosure Project. All rights reserved.