Data Explanation for Illinois

Data Acquisition

The Illinois State Board of Elections (SBoE) provides access to campaign finance reports in two ways:

  • Website – The Illinois SBoE provides several search interfaces, listed below the “Searches” header on the linked website. The search results are report and transaction-centric, with no support for cross-report browsing.
  • TSV Downloads – Illinois provides tab-separated-value (TSV) files for various records, including candidates, committees, receipts, expenditures, and more. These files contain records back to 1999.

Transparency USA downloads and imports the TSV files.

Reported Data

Listed below are the record types available from the state of Illinois, along with details about how Transparency USA uses them, if at all.


These records specify all committees registered to file campaign finance data with the Illinois SBoE.

Transparency USA imports all of these records because they are the basis for transactional filing.

Committee Candidates (Candidates, CmteCandidateLinks, CanElections)

Together, these records represent individual candidates registered with the state of Illinois, the elections they are running in, and the committees that represent them.

Transparency USA uses this information to help our classification and clean-up efforts, but does not directly display this data on the website. The candidate and election information displayed on Transparency USA comes from our partnership with Ballotpedia.

Committee Officers (Officers, PrevOfficers, CmteOfficerLinks)

These records specify the officers in charge of managing each committee, including their titles, such as CFO, Chair, or Treasurer.

Transparency USA does not display this information.

Covers (FiledDocs, D2Totals)

These records represent each individual report filed by a committee with the state and include summary totals.

Transparency USA imports these records, primarily to extract the reported non-itemized and cash-on-hand dollar figures from each report. We create aggregate non-itemized records for monetary and non-monetary contributions and expenditures, which are time-stamped at the end of each reporting period.


These records include all expenditures reported by committees, including money spent or donated to others.

Transparency USA imports all data from these files, excluding only those records flagged by Illinois as “archived” due to amendment or duplication.


These records contain information about investments made by each committee.

Transparency USA does not import these records since they do not represent income or expenditures by a committee.


These records include all contributions, including monetary and non-monetary (in-kind) contributions, as well as interest and loans received.

Transparency USA imports all data from these files, excluding records flagged by Illinois as “archived” due to amendment or duplication. Transparency USA displays most of these records in the “contributions” section of the website, but loans received (records reported in section 3A) are displayed in our “Loans” category.

Party Information

Transparency USA displays the current party affiliation for active candidates and officeholders. The party information displayed may not be accurate:

  • For candidates who are not actively running for or serving in state-level office
  • When accessing candidate or officeholder data from previous election cycles

Party affiliation for active candidates and officeholders is provided by Ballotpedia.

Explore Data for Illinois