Are You a Committee?
A political committee is any corporation aiding or promoting, and any committee, political club or combination of one or more persons operating or cooperating to:
- Aid or promote the success or defeat of a political party or principle or of any ballot proposal; or
- Aid or take part in the election or defeat of a candidate for public office; or
- Aid or take part in the election or defeat of a candidate for nomination at a primary election or convention, including all proceedings prior to such primary election; or
- Aid or take part in the election or defeat of a candidate for any party position voted for at a primary election; or
- Aid or defeat the nomination by petition of an independent candidate for public office.
Committees supporting or opposing candidates for state offices, certain party offices and those supporting statewide ballot propositions.
Committees supporting or opposing all other offices and local ballot propositions
It is the obligation of a committee to register with the appropriate board(s) of elections and disclose its receipts and expenditures. (EL 14-102(1).)
- Constituted or Party Committees
- Other Types of Political Committees
- Village Requirements
- What Must be Filed?
- Where & How are Reports Filed?
- When are Reports Filed?
Constituted or Party Committees
A state committee or a county committee, or a duly constituted subcommittee of a county committee of a party as defined by NYS Election Law. A party is a political organization that ran a candidate in the last gubernatorial election who garnered at least 50,000 votes. There are presently six parties in New York State as so defined:
- Working Families
Duly Constituted Subcommittee of a County Committee:
Outside the City of New York: a city, town or village committee, which consists of all county committee members from that city, town or village, as the case may be, and only such members. Within the City of New York: an assembly district committee, which consists of all county committee members from that assembly district, and only such members.
Any committee provided for (defined) in the rules of a constituted committee (state or county). Examples are:
- Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC)
- Senate Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC)
An optional committee that is only allowed to be registered by a party or constituted committee for the sole purpose of reporting "Housekeeping Receipts and Expenditures" made and received pursuant to NYS Election Law Section 14-124 (3), to maintain a permanent party headquarters and staff and carry on ordinary activities that are not for the express purpose of promoting the candidacy of specific candidates.
Other Types of Political Committees
A committee that supports or opposes more than one candidate.
Political Action Committee (PAC)
Although not specifically defined in the NYS Election Law, a PAC is considered to be any political committee that supports candidates or other political committees by making contributions only (PACs do not make direct expenditures on behalf of candidates).
Note: PACs do not file the Committee Authorization Status form (CF-03). A CF-03 is only required to be filed by political committees that make direct expenditures, other than by contributions, in support of or opposition to candidates and other political committees. PACs may make contributions to candidates and political committees but may not make direct expenditures on their behalf.
Unauthorized Committees (Single or Multi-Candidate)
Committees that are not specifically authorized by one candidate or a group of candidates to raise and/or spend money on their behalf for their election.
Village elections run by the village clerk: Candidates for village office, and committees solely supporting or opposing candidates for village office or village ballot propositions must register and file with the village clerk when the village clerk runs the election.
For village elections run by the village clerk, where filers with the village clerk have campaign finance activity outside of the village election in question (e.g., supporting/opposing candidates and/or committees for town, county or state offices; transfers to party or constituted committees outside of the village), such filers will then also have an obligation to register and file with the appropriate county board of elections and/or NYSBOE.
Village elections run by a county board of elections: Registrations/filings must be made with the applicable county board of elections. Where the receipts or expenditures exceed or are expected to exceed $1,000 in the calendar year, including the candidate’s own money, then such registrations and filings must also be made with NYSBOE. (EL 14-102; 14-104.)
The $1,000 raised or spent relates to financial activity (receipts or expenditures) in the calendar year, not an ending cash balance.
Certain Village Candidates/Committees May Claim Exemption from Filing
The following candidates/committees may file a Candidate or Committee Claim of Exemption from Filing Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports (CF-05): Candidates for public office and authorized committees solely supporting one candidate for public office, or solely supporting or opposing a ballot proposition in towns, cities or villages having a population under 10,000, where the candidate/committee does not raise or spend in excess of $1,000 in the aggregate for the campaign. (EL 14-124.)
What Must be Filed?
This form is used to register all committees. It provides the board(s) with information concerning the committee’s name, type, treasurer, bank/depository, candidates/ballot propositions supported or opposed, and other authorized banking signatories. This form must be filed within five days of choosing a treasurer and depository and prior to receiving or expending any funds. (EL 14-118(1).) Your campaign’s bank account(s) must be opened at a banking organization authorized to do business in New York State. (EL 14-118(1).) The branch where the account is opened and held must be physically located in New York State.
This form is used to indicate whether or not the committee has been authorized by the specific candidate(s) listed therein to aid or take part in their nomination or election. (EL 14-112.) PACs should not file a CF-03.
A CF-03 form must be filed by all political committees that support or oppose the nomination or election of any candidate through direct expenditure.
Authorization can only be granted by a candidate. This means the candidate(s) have affirmatively acknowledged to you that your committee is authorized to aid or take part in their campaign, which includes raising and/or spending money on their behalf. The mere fact that the candidate(s) know that your committee is conducting activity relative to their campaign does not constitute authorization.
Campaign Financial Disclosure Reporting Requirements:
Committees are required to file either an itemized campaign financial disclosure report, an In-Lieu-Of Statement (if qualified), or a No-Activity Report, as described, for each filing period:
Itemized Campaign Financial Disclosure Report
An itemized campaign financial disclosure report is a report disclosing the financial activity for a specific reporting period, detailed on applicable schedule(s), and where at the close of the reporting period, the aggregate of receipts or expenditures of the campaign have exceeded $1,000.
Filing the Report Electronically
Local committees who raise or spend, or expect to raise or spend over $1,000 in a calendar year, must register with NYSBOE and with the appropriate local board(s) of elections and file campaign financial disclosure reports electronically with NYSBOE using the EFS software available on the website at www.elections.ny.gov. Filing disclosure reports electronically with NYSBOE satisfies your filing requirement with the local board(s).
Filing the Report with the paper CF-01
An itemized report can be filed using the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report (CF-01). Such filings must be made electronically, unless a waiver allowing filing on paper has been applied for and granted in writing or unless otherwise exempt if not exceeding the $1,000 threshold. (EL 14-102(4).)
In-Lieu-Of Statement (CF-01)
A report where, at the close of the reporting period, neither the total receipts nor the total expenditures have exceeded $1,000 in the aggregate for the campaign. (EL 14-124(4).) In Lieu-Of Statements can be filed using the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report (CF-01) or online using a Filer ID# and PIN.
Once a committee that is entitled to file an In-Lieu-Of Statement exceeds the $1,000 threshold in aggregate receipts or expenditures for a campaign, it must begin to file itemized reports (CF-01) commencing with the reporting period wherein the threshold is crossed. Furthermore, the initial itemized report filed must contain an itemization of all receipts and expenditures previously encompassed by the In-Lieu-Of Statement(s) filed by the committee. Once a committee files an itemized report, it can never file an In-Lieu-Of Statement for any future report.
The only committees that can file In-Lieu-Of Statements are authorized committees solely supporting one candidate, or a committee solely supporting or opposing a ballot proposal/proposition. (EL 14-124(4).)
No-Activity Report (CF-18)
A report filed indicating that there is no activity to report for that specific reporting period.
- For filers with NYSBOE: a Termination or Resignation Request Form/No-Activity Report Form (CF-18) can be submitted in hard copy with an original signature, or online using a Filer ID# and PIN at www.elections.ny.gov.
- For filers with a county or city board of elections filing on paper: to report no activity for a particular period, such filers should submit fully completed cover, summary and status pages of the Campaign Financial Disclosure Report (CF-01).
Notice of Non-Participation in Election(s) by a Registered PAC, Party or Constituted Committee (CF-20)
The CF-20 is the form that notifies a board of elections that a particular type of committee is not going to support or oppose candidates in a particular election through contributions or direct expenditures. It is an administrative creation of NYSBOE that only applies to, and can only be used by, a limited group of committees: specifically PACs, party committees and constituted committees.
NYSBOE presumes that this limited group of committees are supporting or opposing candidates for election by making contributions or direct expenditures, and, therefore, expects to receive the three election reports for a particular election (primary and/or general). However, if one of this limited group of committees will not be actively supporting or opposing candidates in a particular election, it may submit a Notice of Non-Participation in Election(s) by a Registered PAC, Party or Constituted Committee form (CF-20), which notifies a board of elections of this status. Then, that board will not expect to receive campaign financial disclosure election reports for that particular election.
Note: The CF-20 does not apply to periodic reports required to be filed for campaign financial disclosure as specified each year in the annual filing calendar.
Where & How are Reports Filed?
State Candidates and Committees Supporting or Opposing Them
Candidates running for state offices and certain party offices, and the committees supporting or opposing those candidates, including party and constituted committees, must register and file with NYSBOE, unless exempt from filing. (EL 14-124; NYCRR 6200.1.)
Such filings must be made electronically, unless a waiver allowing filing on paper has been applied for and granted in writing or unless otherwise exempt if not exceeding the $1,000 threshold. (EL 14-102(4).)
Local Candidates and Committees Supporting or Opposing Them
Candidates running for local public and party offices, and the committees supporting or opposing those candidates, including local party and constituted committees, must register and file with the appropriate county or city board of elections. (NYCRR 6200.1(a)(2).), unless exempt from filing under NYS Election Law Section 14-124.
Local filers should contact the appropriate county or city board of elections for information on how to submit reports locally (i.e., paper or electronic).
Local filers who raise or spend, or expect to raise or spend more than $1,000 in any calendar year are also required to register and file campaign financial disclosure reports with NYSBOE, in addition to filing with the appropriate county or city board of elections. (EL 14-102(4); 14-104; NYCRR 6200.1(d).)
Any local filer required to file with NYSBOE, and who actually does so, will not have to make a duplicate filing with their county and/or city board(s) of elections. Their NYSBOE filing will satisfy their local filing obligation. (NYCRR 6200.1(d).)
When are Reports Filed?
Campaign Finance Filing Calendar ( 48KB)
There are three election reports filed in connection with each Primary, General, or Special Election. These are due at the following times:
- 32 Day Pre-Election
- 11 Day Pre-Election
- 10 Day Post-Election for Primary Elections or 27 Day Post-Election for General or Special Elections.
Note: Candidates committees must file three election reports for all elections in which the candidate appears on the ballot. This is also applicable when an "opportunity to ballot" petition has been filed for a primary election. Any candidate that will not, in any way, support or oppose a candidate or issue on the ballot for a particular election will not have to file any reports for that election. If you are a registered PAC, Party or Constituted Committee, you must, however, inform the Board by filing a Notice of Non-Participation in Election(s) by a Registered PAC, Party or Constituted Committee (CF-20 ). Failure to file a CF-20, when applicable, may result in penalties being assessed against the treasurer of a committee.
These reports are filed on January 15th and July 15th each year, or as specified in the annual Filing Calendar. All committees must file periodic reports until they qualify for and file a termination report.
A disclosure report, by paper or diskette, CD or DVD is deemed properly filed when sent by certified mail within the prescribed time period and meets the established criteria to facilitate its processing.
Reports filed by e-mail attachment with NYSBOE must be filed within the prescribed time period and meet the established criteria to facilitate its processing.
Copies of documents evidencing loans received or forgiven and debts forgiven must be submitted with the report covering the period in which the transaction occurred.
Copies of campaign materials must be submitted with each applicable Post-Election report. This includes a copy of all broadcast, cable or satellite schedules and scripts, internet, print and other types of advertisements, pamphlets, circulars, flyers, brochures, letterheads and other printed matter. Photos may be submitted in lieu of actual items.
24 Hour Notice - any contribution or loan which exceeds $1,000.00, and which is received after the cut-off date for filing the 11 day Pre-Election report but before Election Day, must be reported within 24 hours of receipt. Filers with NYSBOE may file a 24 Hour Notice on-line or in writing either by fax or hand delivery to the appropriate Board. NYSBOE's fax number is (518) 486-6627. Local boards fax numbers. Any contribution/loan for which you sent a 24 hour notice must also be disclosed in the Post-Election report.
Note: Any contributions/loan for which you sent a 24 Hour Notice must also be disclosed in the Post-Election report.