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Help on Key Word Searches Using Wildcards

There is no need to enter an asterisk (*) for a wildcard search. Wildcard searches are automatic. In cases where you are presented with search fields that allow you to enter text, you will have the option of entering all or part of a name. The automatic wildcard feature will return a result set with each entry using wildcards for your searches. Wildcards provide a method for completing searches even when you do not know all of the required information.

Often, a candidate, committee, or PAC name entered does not match the name under which the entity filed reports. Also, a contributor’s name may appear in the database in a different form than what you have entered. If, after reviewing this information concerning key word searches, you are unable to complete your search, contact the staff of the Commission at (609) 292-8700 or Toll Free in NJ at 1-888-313-ELEC (3532) for assistance.

Wildcards for Candidate or Contributor Names

An example of the value that automatic wildcards add to searches is a search on a name that such as “Williamson.” The name can be searched by entering “Will,” William,” or “Williams.” Therefore, if you entered the word “Will” in the non-individual name field, all variations in the database having the letters “Will” will be presented in the result set.

Another example of performing a search is to search by other criteria such as PAC Type, Party Affiliation, Year, etc and leave out reference to a name.

 

Help on “Search for Contribution by Contributor” Search Fields

PACs Included will return contributions made to candidates and Political Action Committees.

PACs Excluded will return only contributions made to candidates. The PAC Type selection will not be available when this is selected.

PACs Only will return only contributions made to Political Action Committees. The Election Type will not be available when this is selected.

Use Election Type to search within a specific election.

Use Election Year to search for entities within a specific election year.

Use Office to search for candidates running for a specific office(s). Selecting the office sought will help narrow your search if the candidate has/is running for more than one office.

  • If the office of “Joint Candidates Committee” should only be selected when used in conjunction with other search criteria.

Use PAC Type to search by specific PAC categories. PACs are placed into one of various categories by ELEC staff, such as “State Political Party Committee,” or “Labor Union.” However, to assure the accuracy of your search, we suggest that you first review all the categories and search as many as apply. For example, if you are interested in looking at all Union PACs, start your search by selecting “Union PAC” as the type of PAC. After reviewing that list, select “Labor Union” as your next search.

Use Party Affiliation to search by a specific party.

Use Locations to select either All or a specific location by selecting Statewide, a Legislative District, a County or Municipality within a County. Use Statewide for gubernatorial or statewide ballot question committees only. Note that using the location of “Statewide” will not return a result which has searched through the entire location data bank.

Use Contributor Type to search for a specific type of contributor. Contributors are placed into one of various categories by ELEC staff, such as “Political Party Committee” or “Business/Corporation.” However, to assure the accuracy of your search, we suggest that you first review all the categories and search as many as apply. For example, if you are interested in looking at all contributions by corporations, start you search by selecting “Business/Corporation” as the type of contributor. After reviewing that list, select “Business/Corporation/Assoc/PAC” as your next search.

Use Occupation to search for contributions made by those individuals working in a specific occupation. This information is provided to the campaign or committee when the contribution is made.

Use Employer Name to search for contributions made by employees of a specific business entity. You may enter the name or use part of the name and Wildcards.

Use the Sort Order options to see your results sorted by any of the available fields listed in the drop down lists.

 
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