SOS’s website; A gigantic mess

I had a legislative candidate point out to me last night that the SOS’s website is a mess when it comes to searching candidate financial reports. No surprise, the state isn’t big on functionality with their websites. I had an IT person look at it and give me their 2-Cents:

So much for Powers being an expert web designer.  We call this an eye candy site.  It will blind you with glitz and no function.  Lots of blinking, 1990’s moving lists to nowhere, unlabeled icons, text headers not linking to anything and no ergonomics.  Wow what a mess.  Two things come directly to mind as I look:

1. is the elections page.

a.       The scrolling ‘2012 Candidate Filings’ box is not in any sort order, is annoying and does not link to anything useful.

b.      Links on the page are to ‘stuff’ with no explanations leaving you to guess what they are presenting.

2.       C.A.S.H. System <> was found to be the campaign / reporting link.

a.       Web standards for access links are not used, you have to figure out how to find the link to get to process you are looking for.

b.      Donation Search, try putting in a district number, such as 10.  The list of districts displays up, not down.  This may seem minor but it does not make the search process very ergonomic.

c.       Did a search for all donations in District 10, the presentation is not smooth and as you continue to use the system you get fewer results until you realize the ‘Clear’ search button must be clicked between searches to clear fields.

d.      Bouncing between fields is cumbersome

e.      Try screen scraping results with your mouse to highlight, it will not collect all data.

I guess they are ‘working on it’. Rumor has it they are manually typing in the paper filings instead of scanning them. That leaves room for inaccuracy. The biggest problem with this site is that NOT all of the filings are up yet.

Look at Minnesota’s site, very searchable.

We are only a few days away from the primaries and not all of the reports are up yet. This is unfortunate.



#1 rufusx on 05.30.12 at 10:47 am

This is what happens when the crony system trumps the professional/expertise approach.

#2 testor15 on 05.30.12 at 10:55 am

I wonder what peepee does all day streamlining the office for Gant. Makes you wonder if they are listing their favorite candidates dirty laundry last so not to give opposition research material.

#3 Dave R on 05.30.12 at 10:57 am

The current site does make it harder to go through filings rather than find individual donations.

To give them a small break, a lot of people file by paper at the last minute and it will take some time to put all that up.

#4 Testor15 on 05.30.12 at 11:22 am

Points noticed:

Paper or electronic should not matter anymore, if you are going to require filings all should be up or none.

Gant could always live by the confusion to assist his ‘friends’.

If they are going to create a donors database, why doesn’t the SOS office post district by district so all candidates are fairly treated. Why not an all or nothing from each district?

A shame list for those who did not file in-time and post it on a timely basis?

Right now the SOS searches are some kind of random mix from around the state.

Why not have the candidates submit a spreadsheet with required data?

This deadline was posted, why make separate rules and viewing for paper versus electronic submissions?

#5 Anooner on 05.30.12 at 12:18 pm

I tried a link and I got redirected to a Burger King menu. WTF?

#6 l3wis on 05.30.12 at 3:19 pm

Dave, not if they scan the documents like the SF city clerk’s office does. It is basically one click and it scans the paperwork and creates a PDF that can be posted. Re-entering the paperwork is fine, but not this close to a primary.

#7 grudznick on 05.30.12 at 6:22 pm

Cut young Mr. PP a hunk of slack with that cheese. He’s probably working as fast as he can and he can’t work 14 hours a day. The overtime would break Mr. Gant’s back, as stout as it may be.

#8 testor15 on 05.30.12 at 6:32 pm

There are deadlines in all offices. When a deadline needs to be met, work gets done. It takes caring on the part of the management to prioriize the staff to properly meet the deadline. If BK and PP need to get takeout for the work to get done, than do it.

#9 Helga on 05.30.12 at 7:06 pm

PP is busy studying to get his realtors license, he doesn’t have time for no stinkin’ gov’mt work.

#10 l3wis on 05.30.12 at 10:58 pm

I really believe this delay is 50% incompetence and 50% intentional.

#11 rufusx on 05.31.12 at 9:59 am

The State DOT recently redid their web site and it too has become useless by comparison to what it once was (although it is more visually attractive). This may be part of a state-government-wide “upgrade” to all their sites.

#12 Testor15 on 05.31.12 at 11:40 am

The state’s in house developers do not understand the needs and functions of the offices they are writing websites for. Added to this are people running the offices interested in glitz and special effects to hide the inefficiencies of the site and their thought processes.

#13 l3wis on 05.31.12 at 12:24 pm

There has also been talk that the city is going back to the multiple precincts for the primaries on Tuesday.

Back & Forth, Back & Forth, Back & Forth. Continue to confuse voters.

#14 l3wis on 05.31.12 at 12:25 pm

#15 John on 05.31.12 at 10:08 pm

Just blows me away how SD can blithely go from a professional like Chris Nelson to an bubbling amateur (at best) like Gant. Ditto from SHS to Noem.
These must be among the dumbest voters in the nation.

#16 l3wis on 05.31.12 at 10:17 pm

This musical-chair precincts are pissing me off. There needs to be a standard, not experiments.

#17 Helga on 06.01.12 at 4:18 pm

Don’t ya think SOS says pretty much what it means?

#18 l3wis on 06.01.12 at 4:36 pm


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