Michigan Campaign Finance Act
Getting Started as a Ballot Question Committee
If you are receiving contributions or making expenditures for a ballot proposal or question on the ballot you are required to file under Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act.
- Determine your filing official:
- If you are supporting/opposing a statewide question, file with the Bureau of Elections.
- If you are supporting/opposing a question that is not statewide, but in more than one county, file with the County Clerk’s Office where the greatest number of voters that can vote on the question reside.
- If you are supporting/opposing a question that is wholly contained in one county, file with that County Clerk’s Office.
- 2.All filers must complete and file an original Statement of Organization to register the committee. A committee ID number will be issued and must be used on all committee filings and documents; make sure the committee mailing address and email address are both kept up-to-date so the committee receives all of the communications sent by the filing official. File the original Statement of Organization on time as late fees apply. State filers must file using the electronic Statement of Organization (e-SofO) application. Find out more by reading Appendix B. Local Filers must file using the Statement of Organization paper form.
- State filers: Read the yearly Filing Guide provided by the Bureau of Elections on filing requirements.
- Apply for the Reporting Waiver if you do not expect to spend or receive in excess of $1000.00 per election.
- Pick a responsible and detail oriented treasurer; the duties of the Treasurer are substantial and are covered in Appendix A.
- Attend Trainings: The Bureau of Elections conducts webinar trainings on the Michigan Campaign Finance Act and MERTS Electronic Filing Program.
- Read the Ballot Question Manual and Appendices.
- Learn about contributions and expenditures and what you will be required to report for contributors and vendors used during the campaign.
- Know what you are required to file and the filing deadlines; avoid late filing fees, file on time.
- Understand the Electronic Filing requirements for State Level Filers. Go to www.mertsplus.com and the for more information.
- Review and understand the paper Campaign Statement Forms if you are not required to file electronically.
- Be aware of 48 Hour/Late Contribution Reporting as late filing fees are substantial.
- There are no limits on what a legal contributor can give to a Ballot Question Committee.
- Know what contributions are prohibited as listed in Appendix I and Appendix O.
- Monitor your records online if you file with the Bureau of Elections: Enter your Committee ID to track your activity. If you file with the County Clerk, contact their offices for information on your committee records.
- Don’t forget to put Identifiers on your publications as explained in Appendix J.
- Bookmark these two web pages and read the material on them: Ballot Question Committee Information and General Information on the MCFA.
- Read the notices sent and check your PO and mail boxes daily. Contact the filing official if you have any questions or concerns. State level filers contact the Bureau of Elections. See below for contact information. For county level filers, contact your County Clerk’s Office.
- Dissolve the committee when the committee activity stops. Inactive committees must gain a Reporting Waiver, continue to file campaign statements or dissolve. Don’t let fees accrue; work with us to wrap up the committee.
If you have any questions, please contact us.