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Campaign Practices 

General Information 

 

Electronic Filing

The State Ethics Commission Public Disclosure and Accountability Reporting System is the electronic filing component of campaign disclosure.  Click on Electronic Filing in the Quick Links above to access the log-in page. The User Guides for all reports are also in the Quick Links above. 


What form is filed and when?

AN INITIAL REPORT FOR CANDIDATES is due within 10 days after spending or receiving the first $500 of the campaign funds. A report is not required after each $500 spent or received. The $500 can be one lump sum or can be the accumulation of several contributions or expenditures which total $500 to include candidate's personal funds.  A candidate who does not receive or spend $500 must file a pre-election report.

A PRE-ELECTION REPORT must be filed by all candidates no later than 15 days prior to each election.  This report is required from all candidates whether there has been any financial campaign activity or not.  This report may not be filed earlier than 20 days before the election. 

QUARTERLY REPORTS
All candidates with contributions on hand must file a quarterly report covering from the last report through the end of the calendar quarter:

January 10 (covers October 1 - December 31)

April 10 (covers January 1 - March 31)

July 10 (covers April 1 - June 30)

October 10 (covers July 1 - September 30)

The quarterly report is required of all candidates once they have begun to file, whether there has been any financial activity or not.

A FINAL REPORT FOR CANDIDATES is due only after the campaign account is closed. To file a final report, there must be a zero balance in the campaign account and no outstanding campaign debts. Once a final report is filed, a candidate may not accept or spend any funds for the campaign.

    

Contribution Limits

Candidates may not accept more than the following amounts from individuals during an election cycle:

  • $3500 for statewide candidates or
       
  • $1000 for local candidates.

These figures are based on a cumulative total for the election cycle.
  

Candidates may not accept more than the following amounts from political parties during an election cycle:

  • $50,000 for statewide candidates or
       
  • $5,000 for local candidates.

These figures are based on a cumulative total for the election cycle. 

Contribution limits apply to each primary, general, and runoff election.  One contribution limit applies to candidates who are unopposed during an election cycle.

Expenditures
Expenditures must be related to the campaign or the office held. Use of campaign funds for personal expenses is prohibited. Candidates should maintain a mileage log for reimbursement of expenses related to travel. Candidates may not purchase gas with campaign funds.

Definitions to know...

  
Ballot Measure -
  A referendum, proposition, or measure submitted to voters for their approval

Contribution -  A gift, subscription, loan, guarantee upon which collection is made, forgiveness of a loan, an advance, in-kind contribution or expenditure, deposit of money or anything of value made to a candidate or committee, as defined in Section 8-13-1300(6), for the purpose of influencing an election; or payment or compensation for the personal service of another person which is rendered for any purpose to a candidate or committee without charge. `Contribution' does not include volunteer personal services on behalf of a candidate or committee for which the volunteer receives no compensation from any source or a gift, subscription, loan, guarantee upon which collection is made, forgiveness of a loan, an advance, in-kind contribution or expenditure, a deposit of money, or anything of value made to a committee, other than a candidate committee, and is used to pay for communications made not more than forty-five days before the election to influence the outcome of an elective office as defined in Section 8-13-1300(31)(c). These funds must be deposited in an account separate from a campaign account as required in Section 8-13-1312.

Election -  A general, special, primary, or runoff election; a convention or caucus of a political party held to nominate a candidate; a ballot measure

Election Cycle -  The period of a term of office beginning on the day after the general election for the office, up to and including the following general election for the same office. Contribution limits are for each primary, runoff, and special election.

Expenditure -  A purchase, payment, loan, forgiveness of a loan, an advance, an in-kind contribution or expenditure, a deposit, transfer of funds, gift of money or anything of value for any purpose.