Data Explanation for Ohio

Data Acquisition

The Ohio Secretary of State provides access to campaign finance reports in two ways. Links to each can be found here:

  • Search Interfaces – The Ohio website provides two different interfaces for browsing campaign finance information:
    • Simple Search – This interface allows users to search Committee names and transaction information by keyword.
    • Advanced Search – This interface provides results similar to the simple search, but with many additional filtering options.
  • CSV Downloads – The third option on the campaign finance site is labeled “FTP Site” On that page, the candidate, PAC, and party files tabs contain download links for a large number of comma-separated-value (CSV) files. There are some general-purpose files, as well as some specific files for popular candidates and committees.

Transparency USA downloads and imports the general-purpose active list, contribution, and expenditure CSV files for candidates, PACs, and parties.

Reported Data

Active Lists

The state provides active candidate and active PAC lists, representing all of the registered entities that file with the state. There is no list for the parties.

Transparency USA imports records from these files to establish a list of candidates and committees on our site. Inactive candidates and PACs are not included in these files, but we are able to derive the same information from contribution and expenditure records.


These files include all contributions, including monetary and non-monetary in-kind contributions.

Transparency USA imports all data from these files.


Organizations report money spent or donated to others as expenditures.

Transparency USA imports all expenditure records.

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 Ohio