A political committee is exempt from registering and reporting activities if its sole purpose is either:
- to support or oppose a local ballot measure in a town or district that had fewer than 1,000 registered voters as of the last general election, or
- to support or oppose candidates seeking election to office in a town or district that had fewer than 5,000 registered voters as of the last general election.
Note: Committees supporting or opposing candidates in small jurisdictions may be required to file independent expenditure reports under certain circumstances.
Disclosure Requirements - Registration
- In-state political committees that are not exempt, must register within two weeks of organizing or first expecting to receive or spend funds.
- An in-state political committees that organizes within the last three weeks before an election must register within three business day of organizing or of when it first has the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures.
- An out-of-state committee that spends $50 to benefit an in-state candidate for state, local or judicial office or a political committee has a disclosure requirement. The committee must register and report as an in-state committee unless it can satisfy the following criteria:
- is registered and actively filing campaign disclosure reports in one or more other states and has been filing for the preceding two years;
- has organizational documents showing it was originally formed and is currently organized for the purpose of making expenditures in another state or soliciting contributions for use in another state’s election campaigns, and
- spent less than 20% of its aggregate expenditures for all political campaign activity nationwide at any point in any calendar year to support and/or oppose Washington candidates for state, local and judicial office, Washington ballot measures, and/or Washington political committees.
Meeting the criteria allows the out-of-state committee to disclose the triggering expenditures and select contributor information.
Disclosure Requirements - Reporting Contributions & Expenditures
Committees that register under the mini reporting option are relieved from reporting contributions and expenditures. Committees that do not elect to self-impose the limits of the mini reporting option will file frequent, detailed reports disclosing contributions and expenditures. Making or receiving contributions of at least $1,000 during the week before the primary election or the three weeks before the general election triggers accelerated reporting.
Disclosure Requirements - Reporting Independent Expenditures
Sponsors must file PDC Form C-6 within 24 hours of when ad appears to the public when expenditure is for:
- Electioneering Communication - ad clearly identifies at least one candidate for state, local, or judicial office, appears within 60 days of an election in the candidate's jurisdiction, is produced through radio, TV, postal mailing, billboard, newspaper, periodical or digital platform, and either alone, or in combination with other communications by the sponsor identifying the candidate has a fair market value of $1,000 or more
- Independent expenditure advertisement about a candidate or ballot measure appearing within 21 days of an election with a cost of $1,000 or more. Exception: Not applicable if ballot measure is a local measure in a jurisdiction with less than 1,000 registered voters.
Committees Exempt From Registration
Besides the two requirements explained above, a committee exempt from registration must file the C-6 within five days of making independent expenditures of $100 or more to support or oppose candidates or ballot measures.
Where to Submit Reports
Campaign reports must be filed electronically with the PDC. The PDC provides free software to candidates that may be be used to report contributions and expenditures.
Send questions to the PDC's online help desk.