February 28, 2019

275 Million Campaign Finance Records… and counting

Our team has been hard at work the last several months building out the campaign finance coverage available on illumis. Starting at the federal level with the FEC and working our way down through states, counties, and cities, we’ve now brought together over 275 million individual records to create the largest pool of campaign finance data ever made accessible in one place.

It hasn’t been easy. The information comes from several hundred unique sources of data, spanning a patchwork of different jurisdictions, data formats, reporting mechanisms, requirements, and reporting timelines. In many places, our team had to overcome big challenges like finding ways to extract information from messy handwritten forms, and unearthing records buried deep in outdated government websites. Sorting through – and clearly organizing – misfiled records, duplicated records, and records amended three or four times were all important parts of our process as we expanded our coverage.

Now, instead of a manual process that would take hours, illumis can complete a search on this collection of hundreds of millions of records in seconds, providing the most comprehensive campaign finance results available. And because all of illumis’ searches are either live queries or pull from databases we update several times a day, you can trust that the search is always as up-to-date as possible, even as the number of political donations being made every day continues to grow.

In the months ahead, we are going to continue building out our Campaign Finance coverage even more, bringing more counties, cities and other jurisdictions into our platform. The 2016 and 2018 election seasons both broke records for political giving and 2020 will likely do so again. We’ll be right there alongside all the new records, helping our customers access and make sense of the information needed to make better informed decisions.

Please Note: This post was updated in June 2020 to reflect our company’s new name: illumis


compliance updates
This summer we’ve continued to build out powerful tools on our political contribution compliance platform to better serve our customers. Today, we’re excited to share three big features we added to the illumis platform:
compliance updates
Our team of analysts recently compiled various research memos that provide background on the state and locally elected officials running for Federal office in 2020. Today, we’re excited to release the 2020 Candidate Research Report on Senate Candidates. The report lists the current elected offices all candidates hold (or their profession), and also notes some potentially relevant pension funds. We’ll be following up with a report on House candidates soon.
compliance updates
We’re continually updating our political contribution monitoring platform to better serve our customers. We’re excited to share five updates we added to the illumis platform in June: