Electronic Statement of Organization (e-SofO) FAQs
Q Is use of the system mandatory?
Yes. The system is mandatory for all original and amendments to a committee’s Statement of Organization information. For more information visit our Website.
Q What are the steps for filing an original Statement of Organization electronically?
There are 3 easy steps to file the Statement of Organization;
- 1) Fill out and submit the form
- 2) Confirm the Primary email address
- 3) Print, sign and forward the signed copy to the Bureau of Elections.
Detailed instructions are available. Just view this video.
Q Who can file using the new online Statement of Organization system?
Any new committee required to file with the Bureau of Elections can file an original Statement of Organization using the new system. This includes all committee types, Candidate Committees, Ballot Questions Committees, PACs and Political Party Committees. Committees that have already filed with the Bureau of Elections can use the system to file amendments to their original filing. The system is not available to county filers.
Q Can I update the committee information online?
Yes. If the committee filed an original Statement of Organization online, the committee received an access code via email to amend the Statement of Organization. If the committee did not file the original Statement of Organization online and has not received an access code, contact us by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov and we will assist you in obtaining an access code.
Q Can I use my phone or tablet to update my information?
Yes. The application is designed to be “mobile ready.” This means that the webpage will display in the proper size of the mobile device screen and all of the functions such as dropdowns will be available to use. As with any mobile ready application, the larger the screen, the easier it is to see the fields and entries.
Q How do I get a new secure access code to amend or update my committee information?
Contact us by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov if you need a new access code and we will assist you in obtaining an access code.
Q How long will my access code work?
The access codes continue to work until used by the committee to file an amendment. Once the access code is used, a new access code will be sent to the primary email address and any other emails used in the e-SofO system.
Q What if I don’t have an Email account?
Q What if I didn’t get my email confirmation?
Contact us immediately by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov if you do not receive a confirmation email. We will assist you in completing the filing process.
Q What information is required on an amendment?
The Primary Email Contact will be required to be entered for every amended Statement of Organization. On an amended Statement of Organization, the previously filed information will be displayed on the screen and only the information that has changed needs to be submitted.
Q What if I forget which email is filed as my Primary Email Contact?
You may contact our office by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov for this information.
Q What is the Primary Email Contact?
The email provided as the Primary Email Contact will be used for all notices, letters and emails sent to the committee. The Primary Email Contact is also used to verify that at least one member of the committee is being sent and is receiving communications from the Bureau of Elections. Committees are encouraged to monitor the Primary Contact Email account daily. The Primary Contact simply associates the email to the committee, Treasurer or Designated Record Keeper.
Q Is there a time frame that I have to verify my Primary Email Contact?
Yes. You will have 72 hours to click the confirmation link in your email which confirms that your Primary Email Contact is a valid email account.
Q What if the Primary Email Contact changes?
Changes to the committee information are common. If the committee Primary Email Contact changes, an amendment must be filed using a valid access code. The previous Primary Email Contact will receive notice of the change and must confirm the change. Once this is done, the new Primary Email Contact will receive verification of the change and must confirm the new primary email address.
Q What if I am unable to contact the individual who was the previous Primary Email Contact?
If the previous primary contact does not confirm the Primary Email Contact change, and you are unable to contact this individual contact us immediately by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov. In this event, we will work with the committee to continue processing their request.
Q When will I receive my committee identification number?
The committee Identification Number will be sent to you via email after the filing is approved by the Bureau of Elections.
Q How do I determine what type of committee I should register?
The type of committee filed will affect how the committee operates. To help you select the right committee type for your organization and see the different committee types, see Appendix H.
Q What if I file the wrong type of committee through the online system?
Contact us immediately by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov if you believe that you have filed the incorrect committee type. Depending on the circumstances we will work with you to correct the issue. In some cases, you may have to refile under a different committee type.
Q What if I make or find a mistake on my filing?
Once an original or amended Statement of Organization is submitted, the approval process must be completed with the Bureau of Elections before any additional amendments can be applied. Once the committee receives an access code in the approval email, changes can be made to the committee information.
Q Why is a paper copy or PDF of my submission needed?
The paper copy of the original Statement of Organization and amendments changing the Treasurer, Designated Record Keeper or Candidate’s last name (candidate committees only) are needed to secure the signatures of these individuals. Currently, the Michigan Campaign Finance Act does not provide for the electronic signing of the statements. Amendments that do not require a signature are submitted electronically with no paper follow-up needed.
Q Is there a time frame required to access the PDF of my submission?
Yes. You will have 72 hours to access to the PDF of your submission through the link provided in your email. Please click this link immediately to access the PDF. Once you do this, you will be able to open the PDF where you can then print and or save the PDF.
Q Where and how can I send my paper submission?
The committee can submit the filing in a number of ways. The preferred method is scanned and emailed to Disclosure@Michigan.gov Fax: 517–373–0941 Regular Mail: Bureau of Elections, PO Box 20126 Lansing, Michigan 48901–0726 Hand Delivery or Overnight Delivery Service: Richard H. Austin Building, 1st Floor: 430 West Allegan Street, Lansing, Michigan 48918
Q What is the significance of the “committee formation date” or “date formed?”
The formation date is required under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act (MCFA). While it is not defined in the MCFA the formation date is the date that the committee is able to fill out the Statement of Organization form. The essential elements are selecting a treasurer, a depository and the committee street address information. The MCFA provides deadlines for the formation of the committee. The formation date is then used to determine if a Statement of Organization is filed timely and the assessment of fees. It is a required field on an original Statement of Organization filing. More information can be found in the Candidate, PAC, Ballot Question, and Political Party Committee Manuals.
Q Why does the system require an official depository to be entered?
The Michigan Campaign Finance Act requires that the committee provide depository information. This is true even if the committee has not opened an account. Enter the depository information of the bank, credit union or savings and loan association that the committee intends to use if funds are received. If the committee chooses to use a different depository, the information can be amended later.
Q Can I request a Reporting Waiver for the committee online?
Yes. Using the access code provided, the committee can access the form online and select the “YES” radio button on the screen and submit the request. Since the committee must be eligible for the Reporting Waiver, the Bureau of Elections will contact the committee to grant or deny the request.
If the committee’s request is denied, information will be provided on why the committee was denied and how to change the committee records so the request can be granted. Until the Reporting Waiver is granted the committee must continue to file detailed campaign statements.
Q Can I amend the committee to run for a different office?
In limited circumstances, a judicial candidate committee can be amended to run for a judicial office. For more information, review When a Candidate Committee can or cannot be Used to Seek a Second Office section of the candidate committee manual. If you need to do this, contact our office by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov .
If the committee is for a state elective office, the committee cannot be used to seek a second office. These offices include: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Senate, State Representative, Supreme Court, State Board of Education, UofM Board of Regent, MSU Trustee and WSU Board of Governors.
Q Is my committee information safe?
Yes. The system has been designed with security features to allow access to the information by committee members only. If you believe that the information we have on file has been inappropriately changed, please contact us immediately by phone at 517–373–2540 or by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov.
Q Is the information on file accessible to the public?
Yes. All of the information provided on the Statement or Organization form and amendments to the form are available to the public via the Internet.
Q I have questions, how do I contact the Bureau of Elections?
We suggest contacting us by email at Disclosure@Michigan.gov or by phone at 517–373–2540.