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FAQ - Campaign Finance

  1. Do candidates for precinct committeeperson have to file campaign reports and comply with Chapter 106, F.S.?
    • Only if such candidates receive a contribution or make an expenditure.  An individual seeking a publicly elected position on a political party executive committee who receives a contribution or makes an expenditure shall file a report of all contributions received and all expenditures made. The report shall be filed by 5 p.m. with the supervisor of elections on the 4th day immediately preceding the primary election. (Section 106.0702, F.S.)
  2. May a candidate appoint himself or herself as campaign treasurer?
    • Yes. (Section 106.021(1)(c), F.S.)
  3. How many deputy treasurers may a candidate or political committee have?
    • Candidates for statewide office may appoint up to 15 deputy treasurers. Other candidates and political committees may appoint up to 3 deputy treasurers. (Section 106.021(1)(a), F.S.)
  4. Can a deputy treasurer file and submit campaign reports?
    • Yes. A deputy treasurer may perform all of the duties of a campaign treasurer when specifically authorized to do so by the campaign treasurer in the case of a candidate, or the campaign treasurer and chairperson in the case of a political committee. (Section 106.021(4), F.S.)
  5. Who is responsible for keeping tabs on aggregate totals of campaign contributions?
    • The campaign treasurer is responsible for receiving and reporting all contributions. (Section 106.06, F.S.)
  6. May a candidate accept a contribution from a trust fund?
    • Yes. Chapter 106, F.S., defines a "person" as an individual, corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term also includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. (Section 106.011(14), F.S.)
  7. Do I have to itemize small contributions of $5, $10, $50, etc.?
    • Yes. The law provides no exceptions for the reporting of contribution information, regardless of the size of the contribution. The full name and address of the contributor are also required. (Section 106.07(4)(a), F.S.)
  8. Are in-kind contributions subject to the same limitations as monetary contributions?
    • Yes. In Chapter 106, F.S., the definition of a "contribution" includes contributions in-kind having an attributable monetary value in any form. Therefore, in-kind contributions are subject to the same limitations set for monetary contributions. (Section 106.011(5) and 106.08, F.S.)
  9. How is the value of an in-kind contribution determined?
    • The contributor must inform the person receiving the contribution of the fair market value at the time it is given. (Section 106.055, F.S.)
  10. Can a corporation give to a candidate, political committee or political party?
    • Yes. A corporation is considered a "person" under Chapter 106, F.S.
  11. Would a corporation have to file as a political committee if it contributes to a candidate or other political committee?
    • Corporations regulated by chapters 607 or 617, F.S., and other business entities formed for purposes other than to support or oppose issues or candidates are exempt from the definition of a "political committee" as long as their political activities are limited to contributions to candidates or political committees, or expenditures in support of or in opposition to an issue, from corporate or business funds. Corporations and other business entities remove themselves from this exemption if they solicit or receive contributions outside their corporate or business funds for political purposes. (Section 106.011(16), F.S.)
  12. I am opposed in the general election, but I have no opposition in the primary election, therefore, my name will not be on the primary election ballot. Am i prohibited from accepting contributions in the five days before the primary election?
    • No. Only candidates opposed in the primary election are required to comply. However, since you are opposed and your name will appear on the general election ballot, you are required to abide by the prohibition on accepting contributions less than 5 days prior to the general election. (Section 106.08(3), F.S.)
  13. I was given cash at a rally and have no information on who it is from? What do I do?
    • Report this contribution as an anonymous contribution on your campaign report but do not spend these funds on the campaign. After the campaign is over, dispose of the funds pursuant to Section 106.141, F.S. (DEO 89-02)
  14. As a candidate, what can I do with leftover campaign funds?
    • If qualified by the petition method and filed an oath stating that it would impose an undue burden on your personal or other resources to pay the fee to verify petition signatures, you will first need to reimburse the state or local government entity, whichever is applicable. (Section 106.141(7), F.S.) Otherwise You may disburse of funds by any of the following means or a combination thereof:
      • return pro rata to each contributor;
      • donate to a charitable organization or organizations that meet the qualifications of s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
      • give not more than $25,000 to the affiliated party committee or political party of which the candidate is a member;
      • give, if applicable, to the political subdivision for which you were a candidate for office and deposit it in the subdivision's general fund (Section 106.141(4)(a), F.S.);
      • give, of applicable, to the state, if you were a candidate for state office and it in the General Revenue Fund.
    • Candidates who have received contributions for public campaign financing shall return all surplus funds to the state. (Section 106.141(4)(b), F.S.)
    • A candidate elected to state office or a candidate who will be elected to state office by virtue of his or her being unopposed after candidate qualifying ends, may retain up to $20,000 in his or her campaign account, or in an interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, for use in his or her next campaign for the same office.  (Section 106.141(4)(c), F.S.)
    • In addition to the methods listed above, a candidate elected to office (or will be elected by virtue of being unopposed) may transfer funds from the campaign account to an office account to be used only for legitimate expenses in connection with the candidate's public office. The amount which can be transferred is limited by law.  (Section 106.141(5), F.S.)
  15. Can I combine my leftover campaign funds with a legislative account?
    • No. The office account must be separate from any other account (including a legislative account). (Section 106.141, F.S.)
  16. I am an elected official and still have funds in my office account. I am now beginning my re-election campaign. May I place the surplus funds in the office account into my campaign account for re-election?
    • No. Funds retained by elected officials in their office accounts may only be used for legitimate expenses in connection with their public office. (Section 106.141(5), F.S.)
  17. Do I have to file campaign reports on the Electronic Filing System (EFS)?
    • If the Division of Elections is your filing officer, you are required to file all campaign reports via the EFS. If your filing officer is other than the Division of Elections, you must contact his or her office to find out their requirements. (Section 106.0705, F.S.)
  18. If my treasurer is out of town, can I have an extension to file my report?
    • No. The election laws do not provide for an extension under these circumstances. (Sections 106.07(2)(b) and (3), F.S.)
  19. If I make a mistake on my report can I go back in and correct it on the EFS?
    • Once the report is submitted to the Division of Elections, the EFS will not permit you to go back and make changes. In order to correct mistakes or add and delete information, you must submit an amended report.
  20. If I am late submitting my report, how is my fine calculated?
    • Candidates, political committees, electioneering communication organizations and independent expenditures: $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater for the period covered by the late report. However, for reports immediately preceding the primary and general election, the fine shall be $500 per day for each day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report.
    • State and county executive committees: $1,000 for a state executive committee and $50 for a county executive committee per day for each late day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. However, if an executive committee fails to file a report on the Friday immediately preceding the general election, the fine is $10,000 per day for each late day a state executive committee is late and $500 per day for each day a county executive committee is late.
  21. How long are campaign records kept at the Division of Elections or the Supervisor of Elections Offices?
    • Ten years from the date of receipt. (Sections 98.015(5) and 106.22(4), F.S.)