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SD legislative candidates lack campaign finance reports

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- Almost 30 candidates for the South Dakota Legislature have no campaign finance reports on the secretary of state's website a week after the submission deadline and just days before Tuesday's election.

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- Almost 30 candidates for the South Dakota Legislature have no campaign finance reports on the secretary of state's website a week after the submission deadline and just days before Tuesday's election.

The missing information is due to some candidates failing to submit reports on time and also to difficulties some are having with a new online system put in place last year to track campaign spending, Secretary of State Jason Gant told the media. This is the first election in which candidates are using the system called Campaign Account Statement History, or C.A.S.H.

"It's mostly just people getting used to a new system and starting to navigate it," Gant said.

Gant's office is receiving new reports daily from candidates using the old method of filing campaign finance reports by mail, he said.

Candidates are required to submit reports of the donations they receive and how they spend that money before each election. Legislative candidates in competitive primaries had until 5 p.m. on May 25 to submit their campaign finance reports to the secretary of state.

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Gant said candidates not filing on time "is a problem that we've had for a number of years." He can fine candidates $50 for every day their campaign finance report is late, but he does not plan to fine candidates whose reports trickle in over the next few days.

"If they've had complications with using the C.A.S.H. system, then I'm giving them leniency," he said. "I won't even look at who the late filers are until we get all the way through the primaries, when we can discuss with those candidates ... as to why they were late."

All candidates will be required to submit reports online for the November general election.

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