Registration is Due Within Two Weeks After "Becoming a Candidate"
A person becomes a candidate and subject to the disclosure law at the time he or she first:
- makes campaign-related expenditures;
- reserves space or purchases advertising to promote his or her candidacy;
- authorizes someone else to do any of these three activities on his or her
- states publicly that he or she is seeking office (even if the candidacy is
conditioned on some future occurrence, like receiving endorsements or
raising a certain amount of money); or
- officially files for office.
The C-1 must be filed electronically. It is very common for persons to become candidates for purposes of campaign finance disclosure well before they officially file for office with the Secretary of State or local county elections officials in May. When the information on a C-1 changes, file an amended C-1 within ten days of when change(s) occurs.
Completing the C-1 Registration
Here is information you will need to know.
- Candidate Name: Use the candidate's legal name, including the middle initial. It's OK to also include a nickname, as in the example, so long as the full legal name is listed.
- Committee Identification: The candidate decides the committee's name.
- The candidate's political party preference is required if running for a partisan office.
- Provide the full mailing address, email addresses and telephone number. A campaign's email address constitutes its official address for purposes of all communications from the commission. Elected officials and public employees are not allowed to use their government agency contact information.
- Give the date of the relevant election.
- Carefully consider reporting options and select the one that will work best for you. The mini reporting option should only be selected by candidates who intend to stay within the limits for the entire campaign.
- Identify the campaign's treasurer, the person who will be responsible for receiving contributions, making expenditures and keeping accurate, detailed records. A candidate may be his or her own treasurer. (Candidates are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their records and reports.) Include the treasurer's email address and daytime telephone number. Do not use the email or telephone number of a government office.
- List the name, email, address and title of any person who performs only ministerial functions for your campaign and another candidate or political committee. Ministerial functions are activities carried out as part of the duties of an administrative office without exercise of personal judgment or discretion. Typically, persons performing ministerial functions may, under the supervision of a candidate or committee officer, file PDC reports, make deposits, pay bills, and maintain campaign finance records.
- List the name, email, address and title of your campaign officers (e.g., chairperson, vice-chair, manager, coordinator and other key people). By definition in rule, "officer" includes anyone designated by the campaign as an officer and any person who alone or in conjunction with other persons makes contribution, expenditure, strategic or policy decisions on behalf of the campaign.
- Name the financial institution where your campaign account is kept, along with the complete address. The campaign account needs to be opened only after the candidate receives a monetary contribution.
- During the 10 days before each primary, general or special election in which the candidate is on the ballot or running as a write-in candidate, campaign books of account must be open for public inspection by appointment. Supply contact information so that people who want to request appointments can do so.
- At the end of the process, you will be asked to certify that you have the authority to file the information, and that the information is correct. The filer acknowledges the duty to report changes to the campaign email address within 10 days. A campaign's email address constitutes its official address for purposes of all communication from the commission.
Amending the C-1
An amendment is required within ten days of when the information on a C-1 changes.
The Registration is Valid for a Single Election Cycle
The C-1 is valid only for the election cycle for which it is filed. Technically, the election cycle begins on January 1 after the last general election for the office being sought. Practically, it begins on the day the individual becomes a candidate. The cycle ends on December 31 after the general election for the office being sought. (A candidate who loses the primary election will likely finish the campaign, close the campaign’s bank account, and file a final report before December 31.)
Incumbents must file new C-1s when they begin new campaigns by doing any of the activities explained above that makes them candidates.
A Candidate is Limited to One Authorized Campaign Committee
A candidate may register just one campaign for a particular office and contributions to the authorized committee are contributions to the candidate. A candidate may, however, participate in a committee organized to support a slate of candidates and be part of a joint fund raising effort.