Christian Grose and Abby Wood will discuss the policy implications of the Federal Election Commission audit program and how increased transparency can inform the electorate.
Transparency has informational benefits to voters and can affect election results. Through transparency, campaign finance disclosure reveals evaluative information about the traits of each candidate, such as whether candidates are corrupt or in violation of the law. We theorize that greater transparency provides useful information to voters during legislative campaigns about the type of candidate running. Incumbent legislators who are “dirty” with significant campaign finance violations will perform poorly at the polls. To test these claims, we examine a natural experiment in the United States involving the Federal Election Commission.