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Electioneering communications file description

The electioneering communications file contains disbursement transactions disclosed as electioneering communications. These are broadcast ads (radio, tv or satellite) that are:

  • Sponsored by individuals or groups that are not political committees (i.e. not campaigns, PACs or parties)
  • Distributed within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of the general election
  • Make reference to a federal candidate and
  • Are targeted to the relevant electorate

Electioneering communications are disclosed in two parts:

  • The recipient, cost, purchase, and distribution dates of the expenditure
  • The candidate or candidates identified in the communication

When more than one candidate is listed, the disclosure does not indicate how much of the expenditure should be allocated to each candidate listed. In an effort to help users work with this complicated data, the expenditure has been divided equally by the number of candidates named in the report. The resulting dataset shows the reported expenditure amount, the number of reported candidates and the calculated pro rata amount per candidate.

Possible duplicated data

For the current two-year cycle, electioneering communications are added to this file each morning. If an entity files an amendment to an original report, an automated process attempts to match the coverage and public distribution dates reported in order to include only the most up-to-date information in the file. We recommend that users check the actual electioneering communication filings to ensure that the same disbursement is not counted more than once.

This file includes all transactions with disbursement dates beginning January 1, 2007. Please note that this file includes only reports disclosing disbursement activity; reports disclosing only receipts or no activity are not included.

For prior election cycles, electioneering communications have already been streamlined to include only the latest amendment.

Electioneering communications file format

Column name Field name Position Data type Explanation Example data
CANDIDATE_ID Candidate ID 1 Character A 9-character alpha-numeric code assigned to a candidate by the Federal Election Commission. The candidate ID for a specific candidate remains the same across election cycles as long as the candidate is running for the same office. H8VA01233
CANDIDATE_NAME Candidate name 2 Character Martha Washington
CANDIDATE_OFFICE Candidate office 3 Character H = House
P = President
S = Senate
CANDIDATE_STATE Candidate state 4 Character House = state of race
President = US
Senate = state of race
Candidate district 5 Character Congressional district number.
Congressional at large 00
Senate 00
Presidential 00
Committee ID 6 Character Electioneering Communication filer's 9 character ID, starts with C C30010005
Filer ID 7 Character A 9-character alpha-numeric code assigned to a committee by the Federal Election Commission. The filer ID for a specific committee always remains the same. American National Alliance
Image number 8 Number
Indicates the image location of the disbursement

11-digit Image Number Format
YY - scanning year
OO - office (01 - House, 02 - Senate, 03 - FEC Paper, 90-99 - FEC Electronic)
RRR - reel number
FFFF- frame number

18-digit Image Number Format (June 29, 2015)
YYYY - scanning year
MM - scanning month
DD - scanning day
SS - source (02 - Senate, 03 - FEC Paper, 90-99 - FEC Electronic)
PPPPPPPP - page (reset to zero every year on January 1)
Payee name 9 Character ABC Media, Inc
Payee street address 10 Character 123 Front Street
Payee city 11 Character Arlington
Payee state 12 Character TX
Disbursement description 13 Character Advertisement
Disbursement date 14 Date Date reported on Schedule 9-B 05/10/2018
Communication date 15 Date Date reported on Schedule 9-B 05/10/2018
Date of public distribution 16 Date Date reported on Form 9 page 1 05/10/2018
Reported disbursement amount 17 Number Amount reported on Schedule 9-B 10,000.00
NUMBER_OF_CANDIDATES Number of candidates 18 Number Number of candidates reported on Schedule 9-B associated with a specific disbursement 1
CALCULATED_CANDIDATE_SHARE Calculated share per candidate 19 Number Calculated share equals reported disbursement amount divided by number of candidates 10,000.00