Political Organization Disclosures Search Tips - Wild Card Searching

The Political Organization Disclosure site allows wild card searches.  To conduct a wild card search, use an asterisk (*) to truncate a word or phrase to the portion you require in your results.  The asterisk represents a wild card because it stands for ANY characters.  There are three types of wild card searches:  Right Truncation, Left Truncation, and Middle Truncation.

  • Right truncation occurs when you end a word or phrase with a wild card character. This action results in a search for words matching the characters before the asterisk, and ignoring all characters to the right.  For example, a search containing the phrase Smith* may produce results containing SmithSmithsonSmith for President, etc.
  • Left truncation occurs when you begin a word or phrase with a wild card character. This action results in a search for words matching the characters after the asterisk, and ignoring all characters to the left.  For example, a search containing the phrase *tion may produce results containing organizationrelationgas station, etc.
  • Middle truncation occurs when you place a wild card character in the middle of a word or phrase. This action results in a search for words matching the characters before and after the asterisk, and ignoring all characters in the middle.  For example, a search containing the phrase org*tion may produce results containing organization, organized nation, etc.

Where in the search the asterisk or wild card is placed affects the search results. The information entered in a field by a filer is treated as a single data string. The Political Organization Disclosure site searches for exact words in the order you enter them. The following examples illustrate various searches including wild card searches. Generally, a search with fewer words yields more results.

 

Name As Entered On Form 8872

Search Criteria

Found With Search Criteria?
Y/N

Reason Expected Result Is Not Found 

John B Smith, MD

Smith

Y

 

John B Smith, MD

John B. Smith, MD

Y

 

John B Smith, MD

John B Smith

Y

 

John B Smith, MD

John B Smith*

Y

 

 

John B Smith, MD

*Smith 

N

The query is looking for strings beginning with ANYTHING and ending with Smith. This string ends with Smith, MD.

John B Smith, MD

Smith*

N

The query is looking for strings beginning with Smith and ending with ANYTHING. This string begins with John. Searching with *smith* or smith would find John B Smith, MD.

John B Smith, MD

John Smith

N

The query is looking for the existence (anywhere in the field) of the exact string John Smith. The actual data is John B Smith.

John B Smith, MD

*John B Smith

N

The query is looking for strings beginning with ANYTHING and ending with John B Smith. This string ends with John B Smith, MD.