STEP #1 *
Visit the N.C. State Board of Elections website, at www.ncsbe.gov
In the “For Candidates” section, click on “Report Search”
Choose “Campaign Finance Report Search – By Committee/Entity”
Type in just the last name (or just the first name) of candidate to get options of committees with that name. Choose the committee or candidate you want and click. For PACs or political parties, type in one of the key words in the committee name. Note that the bottom of the screen gives abbreviations for political party names, e.g., REC = Republican Exec Committee.
After clicking on a specific committee/candidate name, you get options of reports to view in various years. In general, there are 4 reports in the election year and 2 reports in the nonelection year. You can view many reports in two ways: (A) Some are PDF files (“IMAGE” reports), which are scanned pages of the actual disclosure report submitted; or (B) some reports are submitted electronically or the Board staff keyboards in the data from paper into the Board’s electronic database (“DATA”). The “48 hour” reports, filed in the last days before the primary or general election, should be incorporated into a later disclosure reports, but occasionally the committee forgets to do this. There are also other documents posted that are often interesting, such as penalty assessment letters and correspondence from the State Board to the committee/candidate.
If you click on a DATA report, you’ll get a screen that shows the parts of the report (cover page, summary page with financial totals, contributions, expenditures, etc.) Choose the section you want to see. You can then scan the records or you can click on “Export data to .CSV” to dump the contents into your own Excel spreadsheet. You can also search for a name while the report is still on-line by using the EDIT function on your software and choosing FIND. If you click on an IMAGE report, the pages submitted for that report will appear in a PDF file.
*Updated in July 2017. For questions, call the State Board of Elections at 919-733-7173 and ask for the Campaign Finance Section.