Breaching the Biennial Limit: Why the FEC Has Failed to Enforce Aggregate Hard-Money Limits and How Record Linkage Technology Can Help
42 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 3, 2013
We demonstrate the applicability of an automated record-linkage system as a tool for enforcing aggregate contributions limits. We do this by applying customized entity resolution software to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) database as a way to assign unique identifiers to individual donors in order to track their giving behavior. We find evidence of detected over a thousand violations of the biennial limit in 2012 alone. We argue that the FEC and state campaign finance reporting agencies should adopt similar technology as an automated method to help identify to potential violations, thus streamlining centralized auditing in a highly cost efficient manner.
Keywords: Election Law, Campaign Finance, Record-linkage
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