Campaign finance requirements for Georgia ballot measures

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Campaign finance requirements for Georgia ballot measures are promulgated by the Georgia Ethics Commission, a division of the Georgia Secretary of State.

The Ethics Commission is the agency responsible for the administrative and technical duties involving Georgia campaign finance law. The Ethics Commission maintains a disclosure database of groups registered in opposition or support of a referendum.

If any person feels a person or committee violated Georgia Campaign Finance laws, the first step is to file a complaint with the Ethics Commission. The Commission reviews and investigates all campaign finance complaints. If probable cause is found that someone violated Georgia campaign finance laws, the Attorney General is responsible for all prosecution of complaints[1].

General requirements

Ballot committees

Any group in support or opposition of a ballot measure is considered to be a ballot committee[2].

Campaign finance requirements

Corporate contributions

All corporations and labor unions are allowed to donate to campaigns in support or opposition of a referendum. However, corporations are limited to donations to candidates, candidate committees, and state party committees[3].

Electronic reporting requirement

All ballot committees that plan to raise or spend $25,000 or more in a election must file their reports electronically[4].

Filing reports

All ballot committees must file reports if they expect to receive contributions, make expenditures of more than $100 or receive loans must file campaign finance reports[5].

Retention requirements

Georgia law requires that all ballot committees in support or opposition of a referendum must retain campaign finance records for three years[6].

Reporting requirements and reports

Georgia focuses election reporting for campaign finance on when a ballot measure is placed on the ballot. Each campaign files three pre-election reports and a post-election report. The reporting periods are the same if the ballot measure is placed on the July or November ballot[7].

Pre-Election reports

Ballot committees are required to file three pre-election reports that are due seventy-five (75), forty-five (45), and fifteen days before the election[8].

Annual report

An annual report is a cumulative report that is due on December 31st. The report serves as a post-election report and termination report[8].

Campaign advertising restrictions

Under Georgia law, all referendum campaigns must disclose the name and title of the principal campaign officer[9].

Terminating a committee

There are no statutes under the law in specific for terminating a ballot committee under Georgia law, however the annual report is considered the final report[10].

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