Help on “Search for Contributions to Candidates or Committees”
Search Fields


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.


All of the search fields are optional. However, due to the size of the searchable database it is recommended you make at least one selection. 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.”

Search by Candidate Name when looking for contributions made to a specific candidate. First name and middle initial are optional, or use part of a name.

  • 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 Name button and enter the name, or use part of a name.

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.

  • 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 filing reports 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.

Use Location – All (Alphabetical) to select either All or a specific location alphabetically.

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 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 by a certain occupation. To assure the accuracy of your search, we suggest that you first review all the categories and search as many as apply.

Use Contribution Start Date and Contribution End Date to search for contributions received on a specific date or within a date range.

Use Employer Name to search for a contributor by a specific employer. If you know the name of an employer, type it in here, or use part of a name.

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