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A Ruby parser for electronic candidate, PAC and party campaign filings from the Federal Election Commission.

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Fech makes it easy to parse electronic campaign finance filings by candidates, parties and political action committees from the Federal Election Commission. It lets you access filing attributes the same way regardless of filing version, and works as a framework for cleaning and filing data. Fech is an open source project of The New York Times, but contributions from anyone interested in working with F.E.C. filings are greatly appreciated.

Latest version: 1.1

Fech is tested under Ruby versions 1.8.7, 1.9.2 and 1.9.3.


Can be found at Fech's Github page.


  • Nov. 13, 2012: Version 1.1 released. CSVDoctor skips rows that don't match row type being searched for, which provides a performance boost, and smaller bugfixes for Form 99 handling and date-field conversions. Thanks to Sai for several patches.

  • June 16, 2012: Version 1.0.1 released. Bug-fix for older Form 2 support.

  • April 11, 2012: Version 1.0.0 released! Support for Ruby 1.9.3 added, all form types supported.

  • April 9, 2012: Version 1.0.0.rc1 released. Release candidate with backwards-incompatible change (renaming zip attribute to zip_code).

  • March 29, 2012: Version 0.9.10 released. Bug-fix for Form 24 in versions 6.4 and 7.0.

  • March 28, 2012: Version 0.9.9 released. Bug-fix to add support for F3XA form type, support for Schedule H and L.

  • March 23, 2012: Version 0.9.6 and 0.9.5 released. Bug-fixes for F6 mappings.

  • March 10, 2012: Version 0.9.4 released. Added support for F6 filings.

  • March 8, 2012: Version 0.9.3 released. Bug-fix for F2 & F24 mappings.

  • Feb. 29, 2012: Version 0.9.2 released. Bug-fix for F3 mappings, added filing comparison class.

  • Feb. 21, 2012: Versions 0.9.0, 0.9.1 released. Added support for alternative CSV Parsers, F4 filings.

  • Feb. 19, 2012: Version 0.8.2 released. Added layouts for F1M and F2 filings.

  • Feb. 15, 2012: Version 0.8.1 released. Bug-fix to support F3 termination filings.

  • Feb. 13, 2012: Version 0.8.0 released. Layouts for form 3 and form 1 added, for parsing House candidate committee filings.

  • Feb. 11, 2012: Version 0.7.0 released. Layouts for form 9 added, for parsing electioneering communications filings.

  • Jan. 28, 2012: Version 0.6.0 released. Added support for quoted fields.

  • Nov. 22, 2011: Version 0.5.0 released. Layouts for form 3X added, for parsing filings from non-candidate committees.

  • Nov. 13, 2011: Version 0.3.0 released. Layouts for forms 24, 5, 56 and 57 added, for parsing independent expenditure filings.

  • Nov. 4, 2011: Version 0.2.1 released. Bug-fix release to address a problem with the :include option for selecting only certain columns. Thanks to Aaron Bycoffe for the report and patch.


Install Fech as a gem:

gem install fech

For use in a Rails 3 application, put the following in your Gemfile:

gem 'fech'

then issue the 'bundle install' command. Fech has been tested under Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2 and JRuby 1.6.3.

How to contribute

Fech's goal is to provide support for all electronically filed forms and their row types, so contributors can pick an form type that is currently unsupported and try to implement it, or to improve an existing implementation. For entirely new form types, please include specs showing successful parsing of the summary. A good way to start is to look at the mappings for a similar form type. Please note that Fech currently commits to supporting the F.E.C.'s filing formats back to version 3.0, where applicable.

Bug reports and feature requests are welcomed by submitting an Issue. Please be advised that development is focused on parsing filings, which may contain errors or be improperly filed, and not on providing wrappers or helper methods for working with filings in another context.

To get started, fork the repo, make your additions or changes and send a pull request.

Pronunciation guide

It's “fetch”, with a soft “ch” sound. There are no other acceptable pronunciations.


Michael Strickland,

Evan Carmi,

Aaron Bycoffe,

Derek Willis,

Daniel Pritchett,



Copyright © 2012 The New York Times Company. See LICENSE for details.

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