Frequently asked questions for new political committees. These questions and answers are intended to help new committees get started off on the right foot and to help existing committees find the information and resources they need.
According to the disclosure law, your organization becomes a political committee when you first have the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures in support of, or opposition to, any candidate or any ballot proposition.
A political committee that organizes within the last three weeks before an election in which it will participate must file a C-1pc within three business days of organization or when the committee first has the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures in the election campaign.
A political committee that organizes more than three weeks before the election registers within two weeks of forming a committee or expecting to receive or spend funds (whichever occurs first), every political committee must file a registration statement (C-1pc) with the PDC.
Washington State political committees that raise and spend money to influence certain elections must register and report in accordance with the Public Disclosure Law. A political committee is any person, group, club, organization or collection of individuals (except a candidate or individual dealing with his or her own funds) expecting to receive contributions or make expenditures in support of or in opposition to any candidate or ballot proposition, including annexation and incorporations ballot issues. Although a group may be a civic, social or professional organization primarily, it also may be a political committee if it accepts contributions specifically for use in election campaigns.
A political committee is exempt from reporting if its sole purpose is 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.
A committee headquartered outside of Washington State and registered in a state other than Washington has a disclosure requirement if it spends over $50 to influence Washington State elections, but it may qualify to report select information as an out-of-state committee if certain criteria are met.
Forms can be printed from the PDC's website, but most committees will electronically file. In fact, all of the committee's disclosure tools are online including Political Committee Instructions and a registration application.
File all campaign reports (the “C” series) with the PDC. There is no county filing requirement. By local ordinance, some political committees may also have to file copies of “C” reports with their city clerk. Committees supporting or opposing City of Seattle ballot measures, for example, register with the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission and report contributions and expenditures there as well as to the PDC.