Table of Contents
- Getting Started
- Software Download and Install
- MERTS Menu Functions
- Setting Up a Committee
- MERTS File Extension
- Add New or Modify Names
- Importing Names
- Exporting Names
- Add New or Modify Reports
- Importing Transactions
- Exporting Transactions
- Add New or Modify Election Cycle
- Add New or Modify Fund Raiser
- Add New or Modify Direct Contributions
- Add New or Modify Other Receipts
- Add New or Modify In-Kind Contributions
- Add New or Modify Campaigns
- Add New or Modify Direct Expenditures
Please leave double-percent markup in above line, it works around a traillist bug PITS#01119
- Add New or Modify GOTV Expenditures
- Add New or Modify In-Kind Expenditures
- Add New or Modify Independent Expenditures
- Add New or Modify Disbursements
- Add New or Modify Loans Owed BY the Committee
- Add New or Modify Debts Owed TO the Committee
- Add New or Modify Debts Owed BY the Committee
- Add New or Modify Payments to Debts or Loans
- Contribution and Expenditure Limits
- View and Print Campaign Report
- All Transactions Tab
- Run, View and Print Validation Report
- Closing, Adding Treasurer and Uploading Report
- Amending a Campaign Report
- Backing up and Restoring Files
- Creating a report/campaign statement;
- Creating an amendment to a report or campaign statement;
- Closing a report/campaign statement so it can be uploaded to the Bureau of Elections and
- Activating the Summary Page & Data Entry tab so transactions can be entered. (A report/campaign statement must be selected from the Reports tab for the Summary Page & Data Entry tab to populate; otherwise the tab will not appear.)
Each report/campaign statement covers a specific period of time. This represents the coverage dates of the report/campaign statement and is entered into the Reports Information screen. Other report/campaign statement specific information is entered in the Reports Information screen such as the type of report/campaign statement to be filed.
Note: Committees must select the correct election cycle for the software to calculate cumulative totals properly.
- Under the View menu select the Reports tab.
- Select the Add New item icon on the toolbar or Right click within the tab and select New to activate the report information screen.
- Complete all applicable information according to the committee type as shown in the selection of tabs below:
Ballot Question Committee
Independent & Political (PAC) Committee
Political Party Reports Window
- Select Ok to save the entry and close the window.
- Select Cancel to close the window without saving the entry.
- To Modify select an existing report and right click to select modify.
- To Delete select an existing report and right click to select delete. Please note closed reports cannot be deleted.
Entering Transactions From Prior Reporting Periods
Candidate Committees – A Candidate Committee that has submitted prior campaign statements during an election cycle is required to enter previous receipt and expenditure data in order for the software to account for all cumulative totals. For example, a committee that has received three previous contributions during the current election cycle from a person, and is starting to use MERTS to report a fourth contribution made by the same person during the current reporting period (the first report to be filed electronically using MERTS) would be required either to enter all four contributions, or the current contribution plus a single contribution for the total amount of the three previous contributions. In this case, the three prior contributions may be reported as a single total dated in a previous period. The exact date is not relevant for a correct cumulative to show for the election cycle (as long as the date indicated does fall within the election cycle).
Loans/Debts - All existing outstanding loans and debts must be individually entered (referencing the actual dates) to enable the software to continue tracking the loan or debt (and any payments) until the balance is brought to $0.00. It is important to note, however, since the entry of such a transaction of funds received as past loans will add that amount of the committee’s asset totals, it may become necessary to create an administrative expenditure dated prior to the start of the first electronic report in order to arrive at the correct starting balance for the first electronically filed report.
Note: As of March 10, 2000 all Michigan candidate committee, PACs and other committees are required to itemize all receipts regardless of the amount. MERTS incorporates an “Itemize All Receipts” option and a separate “Itemize All Expenditures” option to allow committees to itemize all receipts and to itemize all expenditures regardless of amount.
If an Independent or Political Committee made contributions to any Candidate Committees, the cumulative of all contributions made to each separate Candidate Committee (during the current election cycle for that candidate) must be entered as a total amount for any period of time prior to the first report submitted using MERTS. If a Political Party Committee made contributions to any Candidate Committees, the cumulative of all contributions made to each separate Candidate Committee (during the current election cycle for that candidate) must be entered as a total amount for any period of time prior to the first report submitted using MERTS.
If a Ballot Question committee made contributions to any other Ballot Question committees, or independent expenditures supporting or opposing ballot proposals, the cumulative of all expenditures made (during the current election cycle for that proposal) must be entered as a total amount for any period of time prior to the first report submitted using MERTS.