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Idaho Secretary of State
Election Division


CAMPAIGN FINANCE FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Contributions to Committees & Candidates in Idaho

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED REPORTING QUESTIONS

Although it is the responsibility of the Political Treasurer to be aware of all filing deadlines and to report on a timely basis, it is the policy of the Secretary of State’s Office to send the Political Treasurer a reminder concerning the date a report is due. However, this is only a courtesy and a missing reminder will not be accepted as a reason for a late report.

Are all Campaign Disclosure Reports (C-2) timely if postmarked by the due date?
No, the 7 Day Pre-Primary and 7 Day Pre-General reports must be received in the Secretary of State’s Office no later than 5:00 pm on the report’s due date. All other reports are timely if postmarked as of the due date of the report.

Can Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports be faxed to the Secretary of State?
Yes, all Campaign Financial Reports may be filed by faxing them to the Secretary of State’s Office at (208) 334-2282. It is not recommended that you plan on faxing your report on the due date of the report as there is a chance the fax machine may be busy and you may have difficulty faxing your report.

I am a Political Treasurer of a new Candidate or Political Committee. What period does my first report cover and when is it due?
For a Political Treasurer of a new Candidate or Political Committee, the first Campaign Financial Disclosure report will cover from the date the Political Treasurer was certified through the last day of that reporting period. This report will be due on the first due date after certification.

For example: A new Candidate or Political Committee certifies a Political Treasurer on March 1, 2008. Since March 1st falls within the 7 Day Pre-Primary reporting period of January 1 through May 11th, the first report would be the 7 Day Pre-Primary report. It would cover from the day the Political Treasurer was certified (March 1, 2008) through the end of the reporting period (May 11, 2008) and would be due on May 20, 2008.

I am a Political Treasurer who is replacing a Political Treasurer. What period does my first report cover and when is it due?
For a Political Treasurer who is replacing a previous Political Treasurer for a Candidate or Political Committee, the first report for the new Political Treasurer covers from the first day of the current reporting period through the last day of the reporting period.

For example: A Candidate or Political Committee replaced their current Political Treasurer by certifying a new Political Treasurer with the Secretary of State’s Office on June 15, 2008. Since the previous Political Treasurer filed the 30 Day Post-Primary report, the first report for the new Political Treasurer would be the October 10th report, which is the next required report. It would cover from June 7 through September 30. This report would be due on October 10, 2008.

I am a Political Treasurer who is continuing my appointment for a non-statewide Candidate or a Political Committee from the last election cycle. What period does my next report cover and when is it due?
For a Political Treasurer of a non-statewide Candidate or a Political Committee who is continuing his or her appointment from the last election cycle, the first report for this election cycle is the 2007 Annual. It covers from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007. This report is due January 31, 2008.

All non-statewide Candidates and Political Committees with either ongoing campaign funds or have debt appearing on their post-election reports are within this category and are required to continue to file Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports.

I am a Political Treasurer for a Candidate who was defeated in the Primary Election, do I need to continue to file Campaign Disclosure Reports?
Yes, any Candidate who was defeated in the Primary Election but showed an unexpended balance of contributions or a campaign debt must continue to file annual reports until there is no unexpended balance of contributions or debt. NOTE: Candidates who ran for a statewide office are required to file semi-annual reports.

Does a Campaign Financial Disclosure Report need to be filed if there have been no contributions or expenditures in the reporting period?
Yes, a report must be filed with the Secretary of State’s Office of that fact. The Summary Page of the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report (C-2) is the only page required to be filed. It is the first page of the report.

What should I do as a Political Treasurer if I am unable to balance a report that is due?
File the report on a timely basis noting that an amendment will be forthcoming. If you have any questions regarding the completion or balancing of the report, please contact the Elections Division staff for assistance at (208) 334-2852 or at elections@sos.idaho.gov.
Note: The filing of a late report is a violation of the law and the payment of a fine may be required.

May I receive an extension on the due date to file a report?
No, the Sunshine Law does not allow the Secretary of State to grant extensions on filing deadlines. If the Political Treasurer is unable to file the report as required, the Candidate or Chairman of the Political Committee may file the report on behalf of the Political Treasurer. If there are questions by the Political Treasurer for either the Candidate or Committee Chairman regarding the filing of the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report but have not been answered, file the report with a note that an amendment will be forthcoming.
Note: The filing of a late report is a violation of the law and the payment of a fine may be required.

Can computer printouts be used in lieu of C-2 forms?
Yes, campaign financial records may be kept on the computer and campaign reports may be generated from them. If you plan to use computer generated reports in lieu of C-2 forms, submit a sample copy to the Secretary of State’s Office for approval prior to submitting any such report.

If I use computer generated printouts, are there any guidelines that I should follow when creating them?
Yes, below are a few guidelines to assist you in creating acceptable computer generated reports.

  • a) Font size must be readable and scannable (i.e. a minimum of 10 point Times New Roman or 10 point Arial).
  • b) Use approximately the same format as that on the C-2 forms. For any schedule to the C-2, place the data in the same order as it appears on the original form moving from left to right.
  • c) Clearly label all data. If using Excel, be sure the header row or title of each column prints at the top of each page.
  • d) Be sure to have the Calendar Year to Date amount for each contributor. The Calendar Year to Date includes the current contribution along with all previous contributions (i.e. Itemized Contributions, Unitemized Contributions, In-Kind Contributions, and Loans).

May a Candidate or Political Committee transfer assets for the purpose of earning interest?
Yes, a Candidate or Political Committee may transfer assets for the purpose of earning interest. However, the amount transferred should not be reported on the campaign report when it is transferred out of or into the campaign account since the money is still considered part of the campaign’s assets. The interest earned on the investment must be listed as a contribution from the investment. Any service charge associated with this investment must be reported as an expenditure.


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