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Difference between revisions of "Campaign finance requirements for Ohio ballot measures"

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{{tnr}}'''Campaign finance requirements for Ohio ballot measures''' are promulgated by the [[Ohio Secretary of State]].  The Secretary of State is responsible for handling all administrative and reporting aspects of the state's campaign finance laws.  The Ohio Elections Commission, which is a division of the Secretary of State, is responsible for hearing all complaints involving Ohio campaign finance law.
 
{{tnr}}'''Campaign finance requirements for Ohio ballot measures''' are promulgated by the [[Ohio Secretary of State]].  The Secretary of State is responsible for handling all administrative and reporting aspects of the state's campaign finance laws.  The Ohio Elections Commission, which is a division of the Secretary of State, is responsible for hearing all complaints involving Ohio campaign finance law.
  
If anyone feels a person or committee violated Ohio campaign finance law, the first step is to file a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission.  The commission hears all complaints and holds probable cause hearings to begin investigations.  The hearing is conducted by a three person committee that determines if there is enough probable cause to investigate the complaint further.  If probable cause is found, then the complaint gets heard by the full commission<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.156 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.156 Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.  If the full commission finds someone guilty, they can render a monetary fine through civil action.  If any complaint deals with criminal law violations, the case is referred to the [[Ohio Attorney General|Attorney General]]<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.155 "Ohio General Assembly" Ohio Election Code](Referenced Statute 3517.155 (A)(C) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
If anyone feels a person or committee violated Ohio campaign finance law, the first step is to file a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission.  The commission hears all complaints and holds probable cause hearings to begin investigations.  The hearing is conducted by a three person committee that determines if there is enough probable cause to investigate the complaint further.  If probable cause is found, then the complaint gets heard by the full commission<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.156 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.156 Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.  If the full commission finds someone guilty, they can render a monetary fine through civil action.  If any complaint deals with criminal law violations, the case is referred to the [[Ohio Attorney General|Attorney General]]<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.155 "Ohio General Assembly" Ohio Election Code](Referenced Statute 3517.155 (A)(C) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
==General requirements==
 
==General requirements==
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===Ballot issue committees===
 
===Ballot issue committees===
  
In Ohio, a group aimed at the passage or defeat of a ballot measure is considered to be a Ballot Issue Committee.  The designation is defined by Ohio Law as a political action committee organized to support or oppose a proposed or certified ballot issue or question. Also, groups may be called Ballot Issue PAC's<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.12. ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.12 Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
In Ohio, a group aimed at the passage or defeat of a ballot measure is considered to be a Ballot Issue Committee.  The designation is defined by Ohio Law as a political action committee organized to support or oppose a proposed or certified ballot issue or question. Also, groups may be called Ballot Issue PAC's<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.12. ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.12 Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Designation of Treasurer===
 
===Designation of Treasurer===
  
Under Ohio law, the form used as an official Statement of Organization is form 30-D which is called a Designation of Treasurer.  This form must be filed before making expenditures or receiving contributions.  Form 30-D also serves as the official registration form for ballot issue groups<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(D)(1) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
Under Ohio law, the form used as an official Statement of Organization is form 30-D which is called a Designation of Treasurer.  This form must be filed before making expenditures or receiving contributions.  Form 30-D also serves as the official registration form for ballot issue groups<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(D)(1) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Statement of Circulators===
 
===Statement of Circulators===
  
Any group that has people circulating petitions to place a ballot question in Ohio must file  a Statement of Circulators form.  This must be filed within 30 days after petitions have been filed with the Secretary of State<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.12  ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.12(B) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
Any group that has people circulating petitions to place a ballot question in Ohio must file  a Statement of Circulators form.  This must be filed within 30 days after petitions have been filed with the Secretary of State<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.12  ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.12(B) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
==Campaign finance requirements==
 
==Campaign finance requirements==
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All checks from Ballot Issue Committees must have the full name and address of the committee along with the registration number provided by the Secretary of State in order to make expenditures<ref>[http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/Upload/candidates/CFGuide/chapters/08BallotIssueCommittees08-06.pdf ''Ohio Secretary of State'' "Ohio Ballot Issue Campaign Committee campaign finance guidelines"](See Page 3)</ref>.
 
All checks from Ballot Issue Committees must have the full name and address of the committee along with the registration number provided by the Secretary of State in order to make expenditures<ref>[http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/Upload/candidates/CFGuide/chapters/08BallotIssueCommittees08-06.pdf ''Ohio Secretary of State'' "Ohio Ballot Issue Campaign Committee campaign finance guidelines"](See Page 3)</ref>.
  
All expenditures over $25 must have a corresponding canceled check or receipt attached to the report<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(D)(4) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
All expenditures over $25 must have a corresponding canceled check or receipt attached to the report<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(D)(4) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Contribution limits===
 
===Contribution limits===
  
Under Ohio law, there are no limits on campaign contributions to Ballot Issue Committees.  This means, any individual, Political Action Committee, State Party Committee, or labor union can donate unlimited sums of money<ref name="cu">[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.102 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.102(D)(2) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.  The only limit is on cash contributions as all contributions made with cash are limited to $100.
+
Under Ohio law, there are no limits on campaign contributions to Ballot Issue Committees.  This means, any individual, Political Action Committee, State Party Committee, or labor union can donate unlimited sums of money<ref name="cu">[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.102 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.102(D)(2) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.  The only limit is on cash contributions as all contributions made with cash are limited to $100.
  
 
===Corporate/union contributions===
 
===Corporate/union contributions===
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Ohio allows all corporations and labor unions to donate to groups in support or opposition of a ballot measure<ref name="cu" />.  Ohio bans corporations and labor unions from donating to candidates, candidate committees, and state party organizations<ref>[http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3599.03 ''Lawriter'', "Ohio Revised Code"](Referenced Statute 3599.03(A)(1), Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
 
Ohio allows all corporations and labor unions to donate to groups in support or opposition of a ballot measure<ref name="cu" />.  Ohio bans corporations and labor unions from donating to candidates, candidate committees, and state party organizations<ref>[http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3599.03 ''Lawriter'', "Ohio Revised Code"](Referenced Statute 3599.03(A)(1), Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
Ballot Issue Committees are required to file form 30-B to report corporate or labor union donations<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.13 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.13(F) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
Ballot Issue Committees are required to file form 30-B to report corporate or labor union donations<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.13 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.13(F) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Mandatory electronic filing===
 
===Mandatory electronic filing===
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===Mandatory record retention===
 
===Mandatory record retention===
  
Ohio requires all records must be kept for six years for both ballot measure groups and the Secretary of State<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(C) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
Ohio requires all records must be kept for six years for both ballot measure groups and the Secretary of State<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(C) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Public employee solicitation===
 
===Public employee solicitation===
  
Ohio prohibits campaigns from soliciting employees working for a state or local government to make contributions to a Ballot Issue Committee<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.092 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.092(F) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
Ohio prohibits campaigns from soliciting employees working for a state or local government to make contributions to a Ballot Issue Committee<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.092 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Code"](Referenced Statute 3517.092(F) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
==Reporting requirements and reports==
 
==Reporting requirements and reports==
Line 53: Line 53:
 
===Semi-Annual report===
 
===Semi-Annual report===
  
The semi-annual election report is the first campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from when the group was first registered to the last day of June.  This report is due on the last business day in July at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(4) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
The semi-annual election report is the first campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from when the group was first registered to the last day of June.  This report is due on the last business day in July at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(4) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Pre-Election report===
 
===Pre-Election report===
  
The pre-election report is the second campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This is a measure of how a committee is doing financially in the final months before the election.  This report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from the end of the last reporting period to the 20th day before the election.  This report is due 12 days before the election at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(1) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
The pre-election report is the second campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This is a measure of how a committee is doing financially in the final months before the election.  This report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from the end of the last reporting period to the 20th day before the election.  This report is due 12 days before the election at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(1) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Post-Election report===
 
===Post-Election report===
  
The post-election report is the third election campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This is the measure of how a committee is doing financially during the final days leading up the election and measures post-election expenses.  The report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from the end of the last reporting period to the 31st day after the election.  The report is due 38 days after the election at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(2) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
+
The post-election report is the third election campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This is the measure of how a committee is doing financially during the final days leading up the election and measures post-election expenses.  The report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from the end of the last reporting period to the 31st day after the election.  The report is due 38 days after the election at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(2) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.
  
 
===Annual report===
 
===Annual report===
  
The annual report is the fourth and final election campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This is the measure of how a group did overall during the election.  The report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from when the date the group last reported to December 31st.  This report is on the last business day in January at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'' "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(3) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.  The report is required only if a group had to report contributions or expenditures after the post-election report.  If a group is terminated, then all campaign finance activity goes on the termination report.
+
The annual report is the fourth and final election campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees.  This is the measure of how a group did overall during the election.  The report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from when the date the group last reported to December 31st.  This report is on the last business day in January at 4 PM-ET<ref>[http://66.161.141.185/orc/3517.10 ''Ohio General Assembly'', "Ohio Election Law"](Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(3) Ohio Revised Code)</ref>.  The report is required only if a group had to report contributions or expenditures after the post-election report.  If a group is terminated, then all campaign finance activity goes on the termination report.
  
 
==Terminating a committee==
 
==Terminating a committee==

Revision as of 07:50, 6 May 2014

Campaign finance requirements for Ohio ballot measures are promulgated by the Ohio Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is responsible for handling all administrative and reporting aspects of the state's campaign finance laws. The Ohio Elections Commission, which is a division of the Secretary of State, is responsible for hearing all complaints involving Ohio campaign finance law.

If anyone feels a person or committee violated Ohio campaign finance law, the first step is to file a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission. The commission hears all complaints and holds probable cause hearings to begin investigations. The hearing is conducted by a three person committee that determines if there is enough probable cause to investigate the complaint further. If probable cause is found, then the complaint gets heard by the full commission[1]. If the full commission finds someone guilty, they can render a monetary fine through civil action. If any complaint deals with criminal law violations, the case is referred to the Attorney General[2].

General requirements

Ballot issue committees

In Ohio, a group aimed at the passage or defeat of a ballot measure is considered to be a Ballot Issue Committee. The designation is defined by Ohio Law as a political action committee organized to support or oppose a proposed or certified ballot issue or question. Also, groups may be called Ballot Issue PAC's[3].

Designation of Treasurer

Under Ohio law, the form used as an official Statement of Organization is form 30-D which is called a Designation of Treasurer. This form must be filed before making expenditures or receiving contributions. Form 30-D also serves as the official registration form for ballot issue groups[4].

Statement of Circulators

Any group that has people circulating petitions to place a ballot question in Ohio must file a Statement of Circulators form. This must be filed within 30 days after petitions have been filed with the Secretary of State[5].

Campaign finance requirements

Accounting requirements

All checks from Ballot Issue Committees must have the full name and address of the committee along with the registration number provided by the Secretary of State in order to make expenditures[6].

All expenditures over $25 must have a corresponding canceled check or receipt attached to the report[7].

Contribution limits

Under Ohio law, there are no limits on campaign contributions to Ballot Issue Committees. This means, any individual, Political Action Committee, State Party Committee, or labor union can donate unlimited sums of money[8]. The only limit is on cash contributions as all contributions made with cash are limited to $100.

Corporate/union contributions

Ohio allows all corporations and labor unions to donate to groups in support or opposition of a ballot measure[8]. Ohio bans corporations and labor unions from donating to candidates, candidate committees, and state party organizations[9].

Ballot Issue Committees are required to file form 30-B to report corporate or labor union donations[10].

Mandatory electronic filing

Ohio mandates all campaign finance report forms are filed electronically[11].

Mandatory record retention

Ohio requires all records must be kept for six years for both ballot measure groups and the Secretary of State[12].

Public employee solicitation

Ohio prohibits campaigns from soliciting employees working for a state or local government to make contributions to a Ballot Issue Committee[13].

Reporting requirements and reports

Ohio uses a semi-annual reporting system in addition to pre and post-election reporting for Ballot Issue Committees.

Semi-Annual report

The semi-annual election report is the first campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees. This report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from when the group was first registered to the last day of June. This report is due on the last business day in July at 4 PM-ET[14].

Pre-Election report

The pre-election report is the second campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees. This is a measure of how a committee is doing financially in the final months before the election. This report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from the end of the last reporting period to the 20th day before the election. This report is due 12 days before the election at 4 PM-ET[15].

Post-Election report

The post-election report is the third election campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees. This is the measure of how a committee is doing financially during the final days leading up the election and measures post-election expenses. The report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from the end of the last reporting period to the 31st day after the election. The report is due 38 days after the election at 4 PM-ET[16].

Annual report

The annual report is the fourth and final election campaign finance report for Ballot Measure Committees. This is the measure of how a group did overall during the election. The report covers all fundraising activity and expenditures from when the date the group last reported to December 31st. This report is on the last business day in January at 4 PM-ET[17]. The report is required only if a group had to report contributions or expenditures after the post-election report. If a group is terminated, then all campaign finance activity goes on the termination report.

Terminating a committee

A Ballot Issue Committee must have a zero balance, no outstanding debts, and no outstanding loans before they can dissolve. In order to get down to a zero balance, a committee can make a expenditure that is allowable under law. When all criteria is met, a committee must file a final report with the Secretary of State. The report lists all activity that has occurred since the previous reporting period. Also, a committee must mark a check-off box on the form to indicate their plans to terminate. In Ohio, the termination form and the final report are consolidated into one form[18].

External links

References

  1. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.156 Ohio Revised Code)
  2. "Ohio General Assembly" Ohio Election Code(Referenced Statute 3517.155 (A)(C) Ohio Revised Code)
  3. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.12 Ohio Revised Code)
  4. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(D)(1) Ohio Revised Code)
  5. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.12(B) Ohio Revised Code)
  6. Ohio Secretary of State "Ohio Ballot Issue Campaign Committee campaign finance guidelines"(See Page 3)
  7. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(D)(4) Ohio Revised Code)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.102(D)(2) Ohio Revised Code)
  9. Lawriter, "Ohio Revised Code"(Referenced Statute 3599.03(A)(1), Ohio Revised Code)
  10. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.13(F) Ohio Revised Code)
  11. Ohio Secretary of State "Ohio Ballot Issue Campaign Committee campaign finance guidelines"(See Page 7)
  12. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(C) Ohio Revised Code)
  13. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3517.092(F) Ohio Revised Code)
  14. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Law"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(4) Ohio Revised Code)
  15. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Law"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(1) Ohio Revised Code)
  16. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Law"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(2) Ohio Revised Code)
  17. Ohio General Assembly, "Ohio Election Law"(Referenced Statute 3517.10(A)(3) Ohio Revised Code)
  18. Ohio Secretary of State "Ohio Ballot Issue Campaign Committee campaign finance guidelines"(See Page 8)