Complaints and Final Decisions Help
 

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.

 

Search Criteria

Start by selecting the Entity Type from the drop down box list. There are three possible selections:

  • Candidate/Committee
  • Parties & PACs
  • Lobbyist

All of the search fields are optional. You can narrow your search by entering in specific information. If you are not sure of a search field or don't want to narrow your search by that field leave the selection at “ALL”.

If your Entity Type selection is Candidate/Committee:

  • Search by Candidate Name when looking for complaints or final decisions by a specific candidate. First name and middle initial are optional. You may enter the name or use part of the name and Wildcards.
  • Use this option if you are searching for a candidate committee established by a single candidate. Search for the committee using the individual candidate name. Example: “Committee to Elect John Q Public” is searched by the last name “Public.”
  • Use Committee Name to search for a joint candidates committee or other election-related committee. Do not use this option if you are searching for the “Committee to Elect” or “Election Fund of” a single candidate (see Search by Candidate Name). When searching for a committee, other than a single candidate committee, and you know the spelling of the committee name, click on the Committee Search button and enter the name. You may enter the name or use part of the name and Wildcards.
  • Use Office to search for a specific office(s). Selecting the office sought helps narrow your search if the candidate has/is running for more than one office.
  • The office of “Joint Candidates Committee” should only be selected when used in conjunction with other search criteria.
  • Use one of the two Location search boxes to find those entities in a specific legislative district, county or municipality. Use Statewide for gubernatorial or statewide ballot question committees only. Note: using the location of “Statewide” will not return a result which has searched through the entire location data bank.
  • Use Location All (Statewide, Legislative District or County) - to select either All or a specific location by selecting Statewide, a Legislative District, a County or Municipality within a County.
  • Or use Location All (Alphabetical) - to select either All or select from an alphabetical location list.
  • Use Party Affiliation to search by a specific party.
  • Use Election Type to search within a specific election.
  • Use Year to search for entities within a specific election year.
  • Use Date Released to search by Complaint and Final Decision Release Date.

If your Entity Type selection is Parties & PACs:

  • Use PAC Name to search for a State, county or municipal political party committee, Legislative Leadership Committee or Continuing Political Committee more commonly known as PACs (political action committees).
  • Use PACronym if you know the specific acronym of a PAC.
  • You may enter the name or use part of the name and Wildcards.
  • Use PAC Type if you know the specific type of committee, i.e. political party, leadership or other on-going committee.
  • Use Party Affiliation to search by a specific party.
  • Use Location All (Statewide, Legislative District or County) - to select either All or a specific location by selecting Statewide, a Legislative District, a County or Municipality within a County.
  • Or use Location All (Alphabetical) - to select either All or select from an alphabetical location list.
  • Use Year to search for entities within a specific filing year.
  • Use Date Released to search by Complaint and Final Decision Release Date.

If your Entity Type selection is Lobbyist:

  • Use Lobbyist Name to search for a specific Legislative Agent or Lobbyist Organization.
  • You may enter the name or use part of the name and Wildcards.
  • Use Year to search for a specific filing year.
  • Use Date Released to search by Complaint and Final Decision Release Date.
 
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