Rutherford County election officials continue to be on the forefront of advancing new ideas and streamlining the election process. The five- member commission is pleased to announce that they have enhanced the campaign financial disclosure reporting process for all county and municipal candidates. As the 5th largest county in the state of Tennessee, the Rutherford County Election Commission has become the innovative leader in Tennessee. Rutherford and Sullivan Counties were the first to implement this new online financial disclosure technology.
"Our goal is to make our election process as efficient, transparent and environmentally as possible. This new software technology provides our office the opportunity to better serve our local candidates by making the process easier to file, provide cost savings to taxpayers in addition making the financial information more transparent for the public. The Easy Campaign Finance online system is a perfect fit for what we needed in Rutherford County. It makes the financial disclosure process much easier and efficient for our candidates. It reduces our material and labor cost of staff time preparing all of the paper documents plus it allows the public to have immediate access to the financial reports candidates are required by law to file," stated Rutherford County Elections Administrator, Alan Farley.
Farley also included that the biggest cost saving comes from staff time spent on preparing and mailing financial disclosure forms to each candidate. Savings will come from reduced labor cost, paper, printing and postage. It is all done electronically and saves valuable time and money. The most recent process required a staff member to spend a couple weeks preparing forms and packets to send out. Now, it's just a click of a mouse.
At the state level, candidates for governor, state senate, and state representative have been filing their campaign disclosures online for several years. "This software was recently approved to be used in Tennessee. We jumped at the opportunity to be one of the first to implement this new process. I appreciate Sullivan County Administrator Jason Booher spending the necessary time and effort with the vendor to make this software conform to our state finance laws. This is just one example of where the Rutherford County Election Commission is once again leading our state by streamlining services for our voters, candidates, and the citizens of Rutherford County," said Farley.
The first campaign financial disclosures to be filed under this new format will be the 2017 mid-year supplemental reporting period. These reports are due after June 30, 2017 and before July 7, 2017 deadline. We have found that many of our candidates are technology savvy, however we understand that some candidates may not be as confident. Our staff is committed to serving and assisting every candidate so they will complete their finance disclosure correctly and on time. We have a computer terminal in our lobby so we can assist in any way possible.
"I am pleased that our election commissioners and administrator are open to advancing new technologies to improve the electoral process in our county. As chairman of this commission, I take great pride that many of the counties in our state take notice to what we are doing in Rutherford County. With this process being in the infancy stage, there have been six other counties follow our lead with others waiting to come online," said Election Commission Chairman Ransom Jones.
"The benefit for each candidate is the software has streamlined the often-cumbersome process of filing campaign finance reports and provides an open platform for our candidates, political committees, and our citizens to be involved in the democratic process," emphasized Farley.
The candidates and citizens can access the software on the Rutherford County Election Commission website, www.election.rutherfordcountytn.gov . Simply, click on the campaign financial disclosure link in our quick links section, then follow the given directions.
EasyVote Solutions is the vendor that created the Easy Campaign Finance software that automates key tasks including; communication with elected officials, the collection and verification of filings, and public disclosure of candidate information. The module streamlines the workflow of the campaign finance submission and audit process and enables increased transparency. Easy Campaign Finance provides candidates and elected officials the opportunity to submit campaign finance filings online and a public website that makes all available filings instantly accessible to the public.
EasyVote Solutions, based in Atlanta, GA is a leading provider of election management software to election offices across the United States. In cooperation with city, county, and state elections offices across the United States, Easy Vote ensures their products give the features that election offices require, based on state-of-the-art technology, and provide responsive and helpful customer support.