Campaign Finance Election Cycles Dates

The Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA) sets contribution limits for state level, judicial and local offices. These contribution limits are accumulated based on the election cycle of the office and are reset after the election. So, election cycles are used to accumulate contributions and expenditures for reporting purposes and to avoid violating the MCFA by accepting or making an excess contribution. If you are using the MERTS Software, the election cycles must be entered for the software to accumulate contributions and expenditures. For current contribution limits please see the Contribution Limits Chart.

Determining the Election Cycle for a Campaign

For a general election, the election cycle begins the day following the last general election in which the office appeared on the ballot and ends on the day of the next general election in which the office appears on the ballot. For a special election the election cycle begins the day the special general election is called or the date the office becomes vacant (which ever is earlier) and ends on the day of the special general election.

Entering the Election Cycles into the MERTS Software

The MERTS Software is designed to calculate the cumulative contribution totals and expenditure totals made by committees and provide warnings if the committee may have accepted or made an excess contribution. For the software to work properly, the election cycles must be entered and used properly. See the MERTS User Guide for more information.

Candidate Committees and Ballot Question Committees: A separate election cycle must be entered for each campaign that the committee participates in. It is recommended that directly following each election, a new election cycle is entered, even if you there are no plans to participate in the next election. The date of a contribution must be associated with the election cycle whose range includes this date.

PACS and Political Party Committees: A separate election cycle must be entered for each unique period of time covered by an election cycle. Therefore, it is not necessary to enter a separate election cycle for each candidate for which the committee makes contributions. Further, a separate campaign must be created in MERTS for each candidate or ballot proposal. For example, you may have a State Representative committee and a local office that have the same election cycle. The election cycle would be entered once in the Election Cycles window and associated with both the State Representative and Local campaigns. The date of a contribution must be associated with the election cycle whose range includes this date.

Campaign Statements that Span Election Cycles: When filing a campaign statement that contains activity in the old and the new election cycle, use the election cycle of the past election or the old cycle. In this way, the cumulative totals on the summary page reflect the totals for the completed election cycle. This occurs on every Post-General Campaign Statement and January Quarterly Campaign Statement.

Recommendations for Naming Election Cycles: For all election cycles, it is recommended that the election cycle name is entered in the MERTS Software with the month and year of election and the length of the cycle. For example, a 2 year cycle for the November General election in 2018 would be: 11/18 2 YR.

Note to PACs: A separate election cycle is not needed for every candidate, only for each unique cycle. So for example, an election cycle added for a state representative candidate is then used for all state representative candidates on the same cycle.

The election cycles for upcoming even year general elections are provided in the charts below. A chart is provided to assist in the calculation of an election not included here or for a special election.

November 6, 2018 General Election
Office Cycle Election Cycle Begins Election Cycle Ends
Supreme Court

State Board of Education
State University Boards

8 year cycle 11/3/2010

Court of Appeals
Circuit Court
District Court
Probate Court
Local Offices with 6 year terms

6 year cycle 11/7/2012
11/6/2018
State Senate
Gov. & Lt. Gov.
Sec. of State
Attorney Gen.
Local Offices with 4 year terms
4 year cycle 11/5/2014
State Representative
Ballot Issues
Local Offices with 2 year terms
2 year cycle 11/9/2016
November 3, 2020 General Election
Office Cycle Election Cycle Begins Election Cycle Ends
Supreme Court

State Board of Education
State University Boards

8 year cycle 11/7/2012

Court of Appeals
Circuit Court
District Court
Probate Court
Local Offices with 6 year terms

6 year cycle 11/5/2014
11/3/2020
Local Offices with 4 year terms
State Senate
4 year cycle 11/9/2016
State Representative
Ballot Issues
Local Offices with 2 year terms
2 year cycle 11/7/2018
Election Cycle Dates Calculator
Office Election Cycle Begins the day after the
last election for that office.
Enter the previous date of election + one.
Election Cycle Ends on the
date of the Election.
Enter the date of the Election
Offices with 8 year terms ____/____/____
Offices with 6 year terms ____/____/____ ____/____/____
Offices with 4 year terms ____/____/____
Ballot Issues
Offices with 2 year terms
____/____/____
Special Election Cycle Dates Calculator
Office Election Cycle Begins the earlier
of 1) the day the election is
called or 2) the day the
seat becomes vacant
Enter the Date
Election Cycle Ends on the
date of the Special Election.
Enter the date of the Special Election
Office of Special Election ____/____/____ ____/____/____


Page last modified on January 04, 2017, at 05:03 PM