On Monday, May 13, the Public Disclosure Commission will release a new web-based application designed to simplify the registration process for candidates and political committees.

The new system, built for users through a process that engaged members of the public as project team members, leads filers through the steps required to create a new committee and to amend existing registrations. And it will allow campaigns to do all of that on a mobile device just as easily as they could do it on a desktop computer.

By assisting campaigns to provide the required information and easily update their registration when something changes, this system will help provide better information for the public. Helping campaigns get it right is key to the PDC’s mission of helping the public follow the money in politics.

The new application replaces the current electronic filing options on the PDC website and through the Online Reporting of Campaign Activity (ORCA) and other third-party software. Migration to the system will require an outage beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday until 10 a.m. Monday. During this time, PDC staff will be working to move existing registration data and bring the new system online.

Candidates and committees will be unable to submit new registrations or amend existing registrations during this time. Campaigns also might experience some difficulty filing contribution and expenditures reports (C-3s and C-4s) for a brief period on Sunday night.

Access to the new campaign registration application will be through Secure Access Washington, which allows users to use a single username and password for multiple state government services. Some PDC filers may already have a SAW account. You can check here

If you don't have an account, now is the time to sign up. The PDC has a brief video tutorial on how to get a SAW account. 

Beginning Monday, all registration amendments will be processed through the new site. Campaigns that have previously filed registrations will be able to access their information at the new site by supplying their filer ID and ORCA passwords.

The PDC will release a new version of ORCA that will allow users to sync changes to their registration statements. Upgrading to the latest version is not required at this time, but is recommended to provide a more seamless experience for the user. The new version (ORCA 1.2) will be available Monday.

More information and tutorials about using the new campaign registration application will be available at the PDC website Monday.

The new application represents the first major step in the process of replacing the PDC’s 11-year-old ORCA software with a modern, web-based application for tracking and reporting campaign finances.