Michigan Campaign Finance Act
Getting Started as a Political Party Committee
There are three (3) categories of Political Party Committees registered in Michigan.
- State Central Committees (Authorized by the national committee)
- Congressional District Committees (Authorized by the state central committee)
- County Committees (Authorized by the state central committee)
If you are contributing to candidates for a state level office, judicial office or local office, you are required to file under Michiganís Campaign Finance Act. If the committee is making expenditures to support or oppose federal level candidates (President, Congressional or US Senate), contact the Federal Election Commission for filing requirements at www.fec.gov.
- All Political Party Committees file with the Bureau of Elections.
- 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.
- 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 calendar year.
- 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. The Webinar schedule is posted on our website.
- Read the Political Party Committee Manual and Appendices.
- Learn about contributions and expenditures and what you will be required to report for contributors and vendors used during the campaign. Proper and complete record keeping is imperative to filing accurate campaign statements.
- Know what you are required to file and the filing deadlines; avoid late filing fees, file on time! Check our Campaign Finance main page often.
- Understand the Electronic Filing requirements. Go to www.mertsplus.com and the Bureau Website 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.
- Know the Contribution Limits of each candidate committee.
- Know what contributions are prohibited as listed in Appendix O and Appendix I.
- Monitor your records online if you file with the Bureau of Elections: Enter your Committee ID to track your activity.
- Donít forget to put Identifiers on your publications as explained in Appendix J and Appendix S.
- Book mark these two web pages and read the material on them: Political Party Committee Information and General Information on the MCFA.
- Read the notices sent and check your PO and mail boxes daily Ė contact the Bureau of Elections. See below for contact information.
- Dissolve the committee when the committee activity stops. Inactive committees must gain a Reporting Waiver, continue to file campaign statements or dissolve. Donít let fees accrue; work with us to wrap up the committee.
If you have any questions, please contact us.