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 General Instructions

Pages Regarding Campaign Finance

General Instructions

Contributions

Loans

Expenditures

Closing a Campaign

This is a first of a five-part summary of campaign activity and reporting requirements in West Virginia.  Use the bar above to view the pages on contributions, loans, expenditures, and closing a campaign.  Use the links below for topics on this page. 

 Go To A Location On This Page

 

Who Files Where?

 

When to File

 

How to File

Candidate and Committee

 

After the Campaign

 

Summary





Who Files Where?

With the Secretary of State 

With the County Clerk 

With the Municipal Recorder 

  • All candidates for statewide office, State Senate, House of Delegates, or any multi-county district.
  • Candidates for Delegate to National Convention are not exempt, and even if no money is spent to campaign, at least the filing fee must be listed on the report.
  • Candidates for party executive committees are not required to file.
  • All candidates for offices on the ballot in a single county (except for the State Senate and House of Delegates), including county offices and single-county judicial circuits.
  • Candidates for party executive committees are not required to file.
  • All candidates for municipal office on the ballot.
  • All financial agents for candidates, treasurers for candidates' committees, political party committees, and political action committees who support any candidates in statewide, legislative or other multi-county races. 
  • All financial agents for candidates, treasurers for candidates' committees, and political action committees who support candidates or issues only within one county (other than for the Legislature).

 

  • All financial agents for candidates, treasurers for candidates' committees, and political action committees who support candidates or issues only within the municipality.
  • All persons who spend personal funds independently and without a candidate or committee's knowledge to advocate or oppose the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for statewide or multi-county office.
  • (Form F-7 - All Years)
  • All persons who spend personal funds independently and without a candidate or committee's knowledge to advocate or oppose the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate in only one county.
  • (Form F-7 - All Years)
  • Any candidate, committee or person making an independent expenditure in conjunction with a municipal election must file with the municipal recorder.
  • (Form F-7 - All Years)

Do I File Online Or On Paper?

  • Candidates for the following offices are required to use the online Campaign Finance Reporting System (CFRS) to file their financial reports
    • Governor
    • Secretary of State
    • Attorney General
    • Auditor
    • Treasurer
    • Commissioner of Agriculture
    • Supreme Court of Appeals
  • The following groups have the option to either utilize the CFRS or turn in paper financial reports
    • WV State Senator Candidates
    • WV House of Delegates Candidates
    • Family Court Judges
    • Party National Convention Candidates
    • Executive Committees
    • Political Action Committees
  • The following groups cannot currently gain access to the online system (Although eventually the system will be extended to include all financial filings)
    • All county-wide offices including non-partisan positions
    • All municipal offices
  • Federal PAC's do not submit their financial reports to the state of West Virginia, instead they are responsible for filing with the Federal Election Commission

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When to File

  • Candidates, their agents or committees must file all reports in the election year in which they are on the ballot, and annual reports until they repay all loans and/or disburse excess funds and file a final report. Candidates who lose the primary election must file financial reports for the general election if they have outstanding loans or bills, or have money left in their campaign.
  • Political action committees and party executive committees must file reports at each filing period from the date they begin activity until they formally dissolve the committee by filing a final report and a Statement of Dissolution (Form F-6).
  • Consultants, advertising agents and persons who disburse money for candidates or committees, and persons who make independent expenditures must file for any reporting period in which they have received or spent money.
  • Reports for 2012 must be filed during the range of dates shown below-- the report due dates.  The second date in each period is the deadline date, and any report received after that date is overdue. The reports will cover all transactions occurring during the reporting periods. 

Click Here for the Campaign Finance Reporting Deadlines

  • Annual reports are mandatory filings if the total of all receipts and expenditures (added together) exceed $500.  Even if the total amount is less than the threshold, it's wise to either file a report or file a waiver (Form F-12) so the public knows the campaign is reporting properly.

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How to File 

  • Candidates and political action committee have several options on how to file campaign finance reports.  They may be submitted to the proper filing officer in a variety of formats. 

U.S. Mail

  • Campaign finance reporting forms may be mailed to the appropriate filing officer during the reporting period.  The forms may be received no earlier than the first day of the filing period and post marked no later than the last day of the filing period.

Fax

  • Campaign finance reports may be faxed to the appropriate filing officer during the filing period.  If the report is sent by fax it must be followed by an original form with the appropriate signatures.  The original form must be post marked or received by the filing official within 24 hours of the fax being sent.

 Email

  • Campaign finance reports may be emailed to the appropriate filing officer during the filing period.  Please check with the appropriate filing officer for the correct email address.  If the report is sent by email it must be followed by an original form with the appropriate signatures.  The original form must be post marked or received by the filing official within 24 hours of the email being sent.

Online

  • Online reporting is currently available only to candidates or committees filing with the Secretary of State’s Office. Campaign Finance Reporting System (CFRS) is a program which allows candidates and committees to keep online campaign finance files which may be submitted electronically through the Secretary of State’s website. 

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Candidate and Committee Information

On the filing information page, please complete all details. 

  • Be sure to enter the candidate's name as it will appear on the ballot.
  • Enter the committee name and treasurer's name and address information as it was listed on the committee organization statement
  • If the treasurer or financial agent resigns, the new treasurer appointment or changes must be filed in writing on form F-5 (Notice of Change of Treasurer). Until this is done, the former treasurer is still responsible for filing financial reports and can be held accountable if reports are not filed or if reports have errors.  

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After the Campaign 

To end your filing responsibilities, you must complete these steps: 

  1. Repay all loans, outstanding bills and/or disburse any excess funds (see WV Legislative Rule §146-3-7).  Candidates:  if you must use personal funds to pay off these debts, be sure to list that amount as a contribution.  No report can end with a negative balance!
  2. When your campaign account has a zero balance, and all loans and bills are paid, you can file a final report.
  3. To file a final report, complete the report for the current reporting period and check FINAL.  List any contributions or expenditures since your last report. Report the repayment of any loans.  Make sure the Summary shows a zero balance. When closing a campaign or committee account,you may file a final report before the filing date.
  4. For political action committees, file Form F-6, the Statement of Dissolution of a Committee, at the same time the final campaign finance report is filed.

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Summary 

Receipts 

  • Enter the totals for each type of receipt (itemized contributions, fundraisers and other receipts) to the summary page.  On your first report for the current campaign or election year, enter the same amount in the year-to-date column.  On all later reports, the year-to-date column is the total of the previous year-to-date and the current period.

Expenditures 

  •  Enter the total expenditures, and complete the year-to-date column.

Loans and Unpaid Bills 

  • Receipts of new loans and repayment of old loans and total unpaid bills are not included in the balance summary because they would inflate your total campaign activity.  However, the status of loans must be shown in this section by carrying forward the amounts from your loan schedule and unpaid bills.

Balance 

  • The beginning balance is zero on the first report.  On all other reports it must equal the ending balance on the last report. 

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