Campaign finance requirements for South Dakota ballot measures

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Campaign finance requirements for South Dakota ballot measures are promulgated by the South Dakota Secretary of State's office. The Secretary of State is responsible for handling all administrative and reporting aspects of the state's campaign finance laws. The Secretary of State's office maintains all electronic disclosure forms by ballot question committees.

If someone feels a person or committee is violating campaign finance laws, the first step is to file a complaint with the South Dakota Attorney General. It is up to the Attorney General to determine if there is probable cause of a campaign finance law violation. If there is probable cause, the Attorney General's office has the exclusive authority to press civil or criminal charges[1]. If a civil fine is imposed, South Dakota prohibits fines imposed over $10,000[1].

General requirements

Ballot Question Committee

South Dakota law defines groups that are in support or opposition of a ballot measure as a Ballot Question Committee[2].

Statement of Organization

A ballot question committee must file a statement of Organization with the Secretary of State within 15 days of making contributions, receiving contributions, or incurring expenses in excess of $500. If the $500 threshold is met within thirty days of a statewide election, a statement of organization must be filed within 48 hours[3].

The $500 in 14 days rule

All ballot measure groups must report contributions of $500 or more within 48 hours of receiving a contribution[4]. This is mandatory if the contribution was received during the final fourteen days before an election.

Campaign finance requirements

Anonymous contributions

South Dakota law prohibits any and all anonymous contribution. Under state law, campaign staff must have the contributor's contact information before accepting the contribution. If anything of value is from an unknown source, the ballot question committee must donate the item to charity[5][6].

Contribution limits

There are no contribution limits for ballot question committees in South Dakota. Any corporation, labor union, non-profit special interest organization, state party committee or individual can donate unlimited sums of money[7].

Contributions made by organizations

If a legally recognized organization under South Dakota law makes a contribution to a ballot measure committee, then the organization must file a series of disclosure statements with the Secretary of State. The first statement is to certify that the organization is in good standing with the Secretary of State. The second statement is for organizations planning to donate $10,000 or more to a ballot measure committee. The organization must disclose the contact information of persons that have a financial stake of ten percent or more of the organization. This also includes persons that gave ten percent or more of the organization's gross receipts, including capital contributions in the current or preceding year to the committee. Also, the organization must certify that no part of their contributions were received in a separate fundraising effort on the organization's behalf to influence a ballot question[8].

An organization is defined under law as any business corporation, limited liability company, nonprofit corporation, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, partnership, cooperative, trust, business trust, association, club, labor union, collective bargaining organization, and local, state, or national organizations pays that membership or per capita fees based upon its affiliation and membership. Organizations are also defined as a trade or professional association that receives its funds from membership dues or service fees, a corporation at the federal or state level, or any group of persons acting together which is not defined as a political committee or party under law[9].

Reporting requirements and reports

Appendix B

Appendix B is the basic campaign finance reporting form for ballot measure committees in South Dakota. This is used during the regularly scheduled campaign finance reporting cycle[10].

Appendix C

Appendix C is a required supplemental campaign finance report form for ballot measure committees. This form is required for reporting all contributions received of $500 or more[11].

Appendix D

Appendix D is the required supplemental campaign finance report to report independent expenditures made over $1,000 for broadcast or print advertisements along with related communications covered under the law[12].

Appendix E

Appendix E is the official campaign finance form to demonstrate if an organization defined by South Dakota law is in good standing[13].

Mid-Election statement

The mid-election statement is the first campaign finance report of the election cycle for ballot measure committees. The report covers all campaign finance activity from the beginning of the year to June 30th. The report is due on July 5th[14].

Pre-Election statement

The pre-election report covers all campaign finance activity from July 1st to 15 days before the election. The report is due on the second Friday before an election[15].

Final report

The final report, which is considered to be a termination report, covers all activity from fourteen days before the election to the date of termination. The report is due 30 days after all funds are dissolved and debts paid[16].

Campaign advertising restrictions

Print advertisement disclaimer

Any print advertisements that are aimed towards the passage or defeat of a ballot question must bear the words "Paid for by (Name of candidate, political committee, or political party)." The disclaimer must be clearly stated on the advertisement. The disclaimer requirement does not apply to to buttons, balloons, pins, pens, matchbooks, clothing, or similar small items[17].

Independent expenditures

If a individual or a qualified non-profit organization issues an independent expenditure advertisement, the expenditure must be reported regardless how much is spent. This must be done no later than 48 hours after the advertisement was disseminated (published in a newspaper or broadcasted on television or other electronic medium). If the organization that made the expenditure has less than twenty people on its staff, all major shareholders who have a ten percent or greater stake in the organization must be disclosed[18].

Terminating a committee

Under South Dakota law, the last campaign finance report is treated as a termination statement. The report must be filed within thirty days of terminating a ballot question committee. The report must state how remaining debts would be paid and how surplus funds would be disbursed[19]. No ballot question committee can terminate until all debts are paid off, all excess funds are disbursed, and a termination statement is filed[20].

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-35)
  2. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-1 (2))
  3. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-3)
  4. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-28)
  5. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Codified Laws"(Referenced Statute 12-27-24 (14))
  6. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Codified Laws"(Referenced Statute 12-27-11)
  7. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-18.1)
  8. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-19(1)-(2))
  9. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-1 (16))
  10. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-24)
  11. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-28)
  12. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-16)
  13. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-19(1)-(2))
  14. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-23 South Dakota Statutes)
  15. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-22)
  16. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-25)
  17. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-15)
  18. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-16)
  19. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-5)
  20. South Dakota Legislature, "South Dakota Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Statute 12-27-26)