Table of Contents
- The Statement of Organization, Forming and Registering a Candidate Committee
- Campaign Finance Disclosure Requirements
- Contributions And Other Receipts
- Recording and Reporting Contributions and Other Receipts
- Limitations on Contributions to Candidates
- Acceptable Contributions and Exemptions
- Prohibited Contributions
Anonymous ContributionsCash ContributionsCandidate Committee to Candidate CommitteeEarmarkingForeign NationalsContribution in the Name of AnotherCorporations, Joint Stock Companies, Labor Organizations, Domestic Dependent Sovereigns (Indian Tribes)Persons Holding a Casino Interest
- Returning Contributions
- Fund Raisers - See Appendix F
- Expenditures And Disbursements
- Prohibited Expenditures
- Dissolution of Committee - See Appendix W
- Transfer of Funds - See Appendix T
- Term Limited Candidates
A committee discloses its campaign finance activity on campaign statements. A campaign statement consists of a cover page, a summary page and a series of schedules that itemize the committee’s contributions, other receipts, expenditures, debts and fundraisers held by the committee. A fundraiser schedule summarizes each fundraiser held by the committee. Campaign Statement forms and instructions can be obtained from the Department of State’s Bureau of Elections in Lansing, any county clerk or the Secretary of State’s website. Certain committees are required to file their Campaign Statements electronically with the Bureau of Elections. See Appendix D for more information on these requirements.
A Candidate Committee that does not expect to receive or spend more than $1,000.00 for an election can obtain a Reporting Waiver by selecting YES on the Original Statement of Organization or on an amended Statement of Organization. A committee that maintains a Reporting waiver is exempt from filing detailed campaign statements unless it exceeds the $1,000.00 threshold. The Reporting Waiver does not exempt the committee from filing 48 Hour/Late Contribution Reports. The Reporting Waiver is further explained in Appendix C.
Note: A Candidate Committee of a former officeholder, who leaves office without a Reporting Waiver, must file campaign statements each year until the committee is officially dissolved.
Campaign statements have specific coverage periods, closing dates and due dates as detailed below. If the due date of a campaign statement falls on a weekend or state holiday, the due date is automatically moved to the next business day. This does not apply to closing dates.
The Candidate Committee of a candidate whose name appears on a ballot for an election, who spends funds for a write-in campaign or who participates in a party convention or caucus must file a Pre-Election Campaign Statement and a Post-Election Campaign Statement. This is true for each election in which the candidate seeks nomination or election. If an individual becomes a candidate after the closing date for the Pre-Election Campaign Statement, only the Post-Election Campaign Statement is required for that election. See Campaign Finance Disclosure website for more information.
In addition to Pre-Election and Post-Election Campaign Statements, the following statements are owed by a candidate committee.
- An Annual Campaign Statement must be filed each year;
- A July Quarterly must be filed each year in which the office is not up for election; and
- An October Quarterly must be filed each year in which the office is not up for election.
Exceptions to the filing requirements are explained under “The Reporting Waiver” and “Annual Campaign Statement Filing Exemptions.”
|Type of Statement||Closing Date of Statement||Statement Due Date|
|Pre-Election Campaign Statement||16 days before election/convention||11 days before election/convention|
|Post-Election Campaign Statement||20 days after election/convention||30 days after election/convention|
|Annual Campaign Statement||December 31||January 31|
If Candidate is NOT participating in an election
|July Statement||July 20||July 25|
|October Statement||October 20||October 25|
Campaign Statement Coverage Dates: A campaign statement’s opening date is the date after the closing date of the last campaign statement filed by the committee. If the committee has never filed campaign statements, the opening date of the first Campaign statement filed is the earlier of the following two dates: 1) the committee’s formation date or 2) the date the committee accepted its first contribution or made its first expenditure. The first campaign statement filed by a committee extends through the “closing date” of the statement that is due. As the campaign statement that is due picks up where the last campaign statement left off, an Annual Campaign Statement will not cover the entire year.
Definition of Election: An “election” is defined as a primary, general, special, recall or school election held in Michigan or a convention or caucus held by a political party in Michigan to nominate candidates. The Primary and the General are separate elections.
Annual Campaign Statement Filing Exemptions: The Act exempts certain Candidate Committees from filing an Annual Campaign Statement. As provided under the exemptions, an Annual Campaign Statement is not required of the following:
- The Candidate Committee of an incumbent judge.
- The Candidate Committee of an officeholder whose salary is less than $100.00 a month. (To be eligible for this exemption, the committee must not have received any contributions or made any expenditures during the period of time covered by the Annual Campaign Statement.)
- A Candidate Committee that files a Post-General Campaign Statement due between December 1 and January 30. (The requirement to file the Annual Campaign Statement that is due on January 31 immediately following the Post-General due date is waived.) The Candidate Committee is, however, required to file all subsequent Annual Campaign Statements.
- A Candidate Committee that has a Reporting Waiver is not required to file Annual Campaign Statements as long as it maintains the Reporting Waiver.
Immediate Disclosure Reports: See Appendix G
Late Filing Fees: See Appendix E
Pre-Election Campaign Finance Compliance Statement The Michigan Election Law requires any candidate filing for office at the state, county or local level to file an affidavit which states that on the date the affidavit was executed, “all statements, reports, late filing fees, and fines required of the candidate or a candidate committee organized to support the candidate’s election under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act … have been filed or paid.”
The affidavit is not required of a candidate elected to a U.S. Senate, U.S. House, precinct delegate position or school board position in a district with a pupil count of 2,400 or less unless the candidate spends or receives over $1,000.00 for the election.
The Pre-Election Campaign Finance Compliance Statement is required of candidates and is a part of the Affidavit of Identity and Receipt of Filing form used to gain ballot access. Without the statement, the filing official will reject the filing and the candidate will be ineligible to appear on the ballot.
A candidate who falsifies the statement is guilty of perjury punishable by a “fine of not more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 5 years or both.”
The Michigan Election Law, MCL 168.848, requires any candidate elected to office on the state, county or local level to file an affidavit prior to assuming office which states that on the date the affidavit was executed, “all statements, reports, late filing fees, and fines required of the candidate or a candidate committee organized to support the candidate’s election under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act … have been filed or paid.”
The affidavit is not required of an elected candidate whose Candidate Committee did not receive or expend more than $1,000.00 during the election cycle. In addition, the affidavit is not required of a candidate elected to a U.S. Senate, U.S. House or a precinct delegate position.
An elected candidate who is required to file a Post-Election Campaign Finance Compliance Statement must submit the form to the filing official designated to receive the elected candidate’s campaign finance disclosure filings.
An elected candidate who is required to file the statement who fails to submit the form is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a “fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.” An elected candidate who falsifies the statement is guilty of perjury punishable by a “fine of not more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 5 years or both.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When can I file the Compliance Affidavit?
The form can be filed any time after the date of the General Election. There is no need to wait until the returns are certified. There is no need to wait until the Post-General Campaign Statement is owed. As long as at the time of signing the candidate’s committees do not have any outstanding filings required or late filing fees owed, the Compliance Affidavit can be executed and filed.
When is the Compliance Affidavit due?
The Compliance Affidavit is due prior to assuming the duties of the new office. This is the date that the term begins. Therefore, most filings are due on January 1st. However, governmental offices are closed on January 1st, the due date for filing is rolled to the next business day.
Can the due date be extended? No. There is no provision in the Michigan Election Law that provides for the extension of the due date.
Is the postmarked date considered the filed-on date? No. The filing is required to be received by the filing official. The postmark is not considered the filing date.
Must the Compliance Affidavit be Notarized? Yes. The Compliance Affidavit must be properly and completely executed. Please review the Affidavit carefully before submitting it to the filing official. Incomplete dates and missed or incomplete information may require the candidate to re-execute the Affidavit.
What if I’m out of state? It is recommended that the Compliance Affidavit be executed by a Michigan notary. However, a Compliance Affidavit notarized by an out-of-state notary will not be rejected.
What if I file it late? While there are no late filing fees assessed for a late filed Compliance Affidavit, Michigan Election Law stipulates that the Compliance Affidavit must be filed before assuming the duties of office. Failure to submit the Affidavit timely subjects the candidate to a possible misdemeanor violation.
I have fees, can I apply for a payment plan? The Bureau of Elections will enter into payment plans for those committees with outstanding late filing fees. However, entering into a payment plan does not meet the requirement of the Compliance Affidavit. To sign the Affidavit, all fees must be paid in full.
Can I use a credit card to pay fees No, the Bureau of Elections does not accept credit cards. You can pay in person at the Bureau of Elections or mail your payment into the Bureau of Elections.
I’m appealing the fee, must I pay it before signing the Affidavit? Yes. If the fee is not waived by the due date of the Affidavit, the fee must be paid. If it is later determined that the fee is not owed, the committee will be issued a refund.
Can I create my own form or change the wording on the form No. Michigan Election Law stipulates that the form is prescribed by the Secretary of State.