INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION FOR BALLOT QUESTION COMMITTEES
Michigan's Campaign Finance Act (MCFA), P.A. 388 of 1976, covers a "person" operating within Michigan or out-of-state as soon as it spends or receives $500.00 or more in a calendar year to influence voters for or against the qualification, passage or defeat of one or more ballot questions in Michigan. The term "person" is used to mean a business, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, syndicate, labor organization, company, corporation, association or two or more individuals who act jointly. As soon as a person reaches the $500.00 threshold detailed above, it has 10 calendar days to register a "committee" under the MCFA. A person that is covered by the MCFA, registers a committee by filing this form with the appropriate filing official. EXCEPTION: A direct or in –kind contribution given by a "person" to a Ballot Question Committee does not count toward the committee registration threshold if the contribution was not solicited or received by the contributing person for the purpose of supporting or opposing the ballot question involved. All independent expenditures made by a "person" count toward the committee registration threshold regardless of how the funds involved were obtained.
TYPES OF COMMITTEES
Before registering a committee, the difference in the various committee types must be given careful consideration. Be sure you are filing as the appropriate committee type.
Ballot Question Committees: Formed to support or oppose the qualification, passage or defeat of ballot questions. A ballot question is an issue which is intended to be submitted to a popular vole at an election (including millage issues). A Ballot Question Committee cannot support or oppose candidates. For further information regarding committee types please see Appendix H of the Ballot Question Manual.
WHERE TO FILE THIS FORM
Two copies of this form must be filed when registering a Ballot Question committee. If the proposal supported or opposed is to be voted on statewide, the committee files with the Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Elections, Post Office Box 20126, Lansing, Michigan 48901-0726. Office location: 430 West Allegan, Richard H. Austin Building 1st Floor, Lansing, MI 48918-1700. Phone: (517) 373-2540. If the proposal supported or opposed is to be voted on in a single county, the committee files with the clerk of that county; in more than one county — but not statewide — the committee files with the clerk of the county where the greatest number of voters eligible to vote on the proposal reside.
NOTE: The information contained on the Statement of Organization must be kept up-to-date. If a change in the information takes place, an amendment to the form must be filed no later than the due date of the first campaign statement required of the committee after the change. An amendment must be signed by the treasurer serving at the time of the change. If the treasurer is changing, the amendment must be signed by the new treasurer.
Type or clearly print in ink all information requested on the Statement of Organization form. Each entry on the form is discussed below.
ITEM 1. On the original Statement of Organization, leave this item blank. An identification number will be assigned to the committee by the filing official. If an identification number has been assigned to the committee, enter it in Item 1.
*ITEM 2. Indicate whether this is an original Statement of Organization filing or an Amendment to a Statement of Organization already on file. In an amendment, list the number of the Item(s) affected and the date the change took place. If filing an amendment, complete item 2,the item(s) affected and items 1 and 14.
*ITEM 3. Enter the date the committee was formed in Michigan. The original Statement of Organization form must be received by the filing official within 10 calendar days after the committee's formation date. Late filing fees are assessed at a rate of $10.00 per business day if the form is filed late. A Statement of Organization is considered to be timely if mailed by registered mail, certified mail or over -night delivery service on or before the due date.
*ITEM 4. Enter the committee's official name. Do not use initials or abbreviations.
ITEM 5. If applicable, enter the committee's abbreviated name or acronym.
ITEM 6. Enter the committee's mailing address if different from the committee's street address. A post office box is acceptable as a mailing address. All mail from the filing official will be directed to the committee's mailing address as shown in Item 6.
ITEM 7. Enter the committee's street address. A post office box is not acceptable. (List the treasurer's home address if no other address is available.) Enter the committee's area code, phone number, fax number, e-mail address and website address.
ITEM 8. Enter the full name and mailing address, a daytime phone number and email address of the committee's treasurer. The committee's treasurer must be a qualified elector of Michigan if the committee conducts business through an office or facility located in Michigan. The committee treasurer does not have to be a Michigan resident if the committee does not conduct business through an office or facility located in Michigan. A committee that wishes to have a treasurer who is not a Michigan resident is required to file an "irrevocable written stipulation' with its Statement of Organization. Further information on this requirement can be obtained from your filing official.
ITEM 9. List the name, mailing address, area code and phone number and email address of the person who will be responsible for the committee's records and campaign statement filings. If the committee treasurer will personally handle these responsibilities, leave this item blank. A person designated in this item may sign campaign statements but does not have the authority to sign the Statement of Organization forms in place of the treasurer.
ITEM 10. Reporting Waiver Request
• Select "YES, I/WE WANT TO APPLY FOR THE REPORTING WAIVER" on Item 10 if the committee does not expect to spend or receive more than $1,000 for any single election. The committee does not owe Pre, Post, Annual and Quarterly Campaign Statements as long as the committee does not receive or spend more than $1000.
• Select "NO, I/WE DO NOT WANT TO APPLY FOR THE REPORTING WAIVER" on Item 10 if the committee expects to spend or receive in excess of $1,000 in an election. This means that the committee owes Petition Proposal, Pre, Post, Annual and Quarterly Campaign Statements even if the committee does not spend or receive in excess of $1,000 in an election. Election means primary, general, special or millage election.
ITEM 11. Enter the name and address of the Michigan bank, savings and loan association or credit union that the committee now uses or intends to use as its "official depository." The committee's official depository must be located in Michigan. List the names and addresses of any "secondary depositories" the committee currently uses or intends to use. A secondary depository may be used only for the deposit of contributions (for example, as a temporary holding place for receipts from a joint fund raiser); it may not be used for committee expenditures.
ITEM 12. Indicate the letter or number designation of the ballot issue supported or opposed or a description of the proposal. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether the committee supports or opposes the proposal. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether the proposal will be voted on statewide, in multiple counties, in one county or at the local level (city, township, village or school district).
ITEM 13. Read this section carefully and check the appropriate box. Committees filing with the county clerk's office, skip to Item 14.
ITEM 14. Enter the treasurer's name where indicated. The form must be signed and dated by the current committee treasurer. Electronic Filers: The forms must be signed by the current Treasurer and the Designated Record -keeper (if applicable) and serves as an electronic signature for
electronically filing campaign statements and reports. NOTE: Once a committee has reached the $5,000 threshold all campaign statements and reports must be filed electronically regardless of receipt or expenditure totals in the future years. The Record Keeper needs to sign and date this form if campaign statements are to be filed electronically.