Denver Clerk and Recorder Welcomes New Campaign Finance Vendor
Published on December 15, 2020
Denver, CO – Denver Clerk and Recorder Paul D. López today announced that his office has contracted with MapLight a nonprofit civic technology firm, to build a replacement for the City’s outdated campaign finance reporting application. MapLight’s new application will be uniquely designed to administer Denver’s campaign finance regulations, provide in-depth search functions for the public, and implement the Fair Elections Fund.
“As Clerk and Recorder for the City and County of Denver, I am dedicated to providing Denver residents with one of the most powerful tools in campaign finance: disclosure,” López said. “Our residents deserve to know who is funding their candidates, speaking to them about local issues, and urging them to vote a certain way on their ballots. I expect the new MapLight system to become the cornerstone for a new transparency website that lets visitors track campaign contributions, gifts to city officers, financial disclosures, and lobbyist disclosures. I am proud to be partnering with MapLight on this project.”
The new campaign finance system will launch in the second half of 2021 and will include a litany of needed upgrades for campaign users, employees, and Denver residents. While the application will have standard reporting functions for campaigns, it will also have a dashboard that better displays campaign spending information to website visitors and the media. Additionally, the application will integrate with the City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and cashiering systems to eliminate manual processes that office employees currently use to track independent expenditures, fines, and qualifying contributions.
MapLight’s application is the second step that Clerk López has taken to better enforce the City’s campaign finance regulations. Shortly after entering office, Clerk López hired the office’s first full-time campaign finance administrator. This administrator will be using this new application to review reports for noncompliance and to begin proactively auditing reports.
MapLight is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides innovative civic software to promote transparency and a more responsive democracy. It previously partnered with the California Secretary of State to build user-friendly, open-source software that helps Californians see the money behind their elections.
“Transparency is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy and in today’s world that means user-friendly, online information about how political campaigns are funded,” said MapLight President and Co-Founder Daniel G. Newman. “We’re thrilled to be able to bring a robust, modern campaign finance system to the City and County of Denver to promote a transparent, accountable government.”
Denver currently has five candidates pursuing the minimum number of qualifying contributions in order to qualify for matching funds. The Clerk’s Office anticipates a large increase in the number of candidates running for office in 2023 due to both the Fund’s existence and the open Mayoral contest. The first payments will be made to qualified candidates in August of 2022.
For more information, visit maplight.org.