Wayne County Campaign Finance System
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User Name on Home Page
Committee Identification Number
Registering a Committee
Campaign Statements
Late Contributions
Independent Expenditures by Corporations, Unions and Domestic Dependent Sovereigns
How do I get help in the system?
 
Question and Answers:
User Name on Home Page
Que. What is my User Name?
Ans. Your user name is your old Committee ID number preceded by the County code 82- (ex. 82-xxxxxx).

Committee Identification Number
Que. How do I get a committee ID number?
Ans. Once you have registered your committee, an ID number will be assigned to you.

Que. Can I use the same ID for a state committee?
Ans. No, the committee ID assigned by Wayne County is specific to Wayne County and cannot be used at the State level.

Que. When do I use my ID number?
Ans. Your ID number should be on all communications with this office.

Registering a Committee
Que. When do I become a candidate?
Ans. An individual becomes a candidate under the Act as soon as he or she: • Files a fee, Affidavit of Incumbency or nominating petition for an elective office; OR • is nominated as a candidate for elective office by a political party convention or caucus and certified to the appropriate filing official; OR • receives a contribution or makes an expenditure in an attempt to be nominated or elected to office; OR • gives consent to someone else to receive a contribution or make an expenditure in an attempt to be nominated or elected to office.

Que. Am I required to form a committee?
Ans. Yes, an individual who becomes a candidate is required to form a Candidate Committee. “Candidate Committee” means the committee designated in a candidate’s filed Statement of organization. A Candidate Committee is under the control and direction of the candidate named in the Statement of organization. A candidate may only have one committee for each office sought. As soon as a person becomes a “candidate” under Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act, he or she has: • Up to ten (10) calendar days to form a Candidate Committee. After the committee is formed, the candidate has: • Ten (10) additional calendars days from its formation date to register the committee.

Que. How do I register a committee?
Ans. To register, a committee files a Statement of Organization. A committee can be registered online by clicking on the "Register a Committee" button on the home page of the Wayne County Campaign Finance System. In addition, Statement of Organization forms can be obtained from the Wayne County Clerk’s office, Department of State’s Bureau of Elections in Lansing or the Secretary of State’s website at www.michigan.gov/sos. Once a committee is registered, it may be required to file Campaign Statements and other reports to disclose the committee’s campaign finance activity in Michigan elections.

Que. Where do I file my Statement of Organization?
Ans. Offices that file with the County Clerk’s Office are: County, City, Township, Village, Public School Board, Community College Board and Library Board. A local candidate whose district crosses county boundaries must register with the Clerk of the County where the greatest number of eligible voters resides.

Que. What if I want to register a political action committee or a ballot question committee ?
Ans. To register, a committee files a Statement of Organization. For Political Committees and Independent Committees covered by the Campaign Finance Act: as soon as a “person” receives or spends $500.00 or more in a calendar year to influence voters for or against the nomination or election of one or more candidates in Michigan or the qualification, passage or defeat of one or more ballot questions in Michigan, it has 10 calendar days to form and register a Independent or Political Committee. Note: Further information on forming and registering a PAC can be found in the Independent Committee and Political Committee (PAC) manual. For Ballot Question committees – as soon as an organization or group of persons receives $500.00 in contributions or makes independent expenditures totaling $500.00 in a calendar year to influence voters for or against the qualification, passage or defeat of one or more ballot questions in Michigan, the organization or group of persons has 10 calendar days to form and register a Ballot Question Committee. An organization or group of persons that is covered by the Campaign Finance Act registers a committee by filing a Statement of organization form with the appropriate filing official. The Statement of Organization is the first Campaign Finance form required to be filed by a Ballot Question Committee. Note: Further information on forming and registering a Ballot Question Committee can be found in the Ballot Question Committee manual.

Campaign Statements
Que. How does a committee report it's activity?
Ans. A committee discloses its campaign finance activity on Campaign Statements. A Campaign Statement consists of a cover page, a summary page and series of schedules that itemize the committee’s contributions, other receipts, expenditures, and debts held by the committee. NOTE: when filing electronically, all transactions entered into the system can be seen by selecting "Edit/File Pending Transactions" on the menu be sure to select the correct Reporting Period Name, or if amending a report, select "Amend Transactions" on the menu (be sure to select the correct Reporting Period Name) and click "search". You will not see transactions on the actual forms until you either preview the campaign statement or file the campaign statement; both of which can be done by scrolling to the bottom on the same page and making the appropriate selection.

Que. Who must file a campaign statement?
Ans. The candidate committee of a candidate whose name appears on a ballot for an election must file a pre-election and a post election campaign statement. A Ballot Question committee that supports or opposes the qualification, passage or defeat of one or more ballot questions in Michigan. A Political Action Committee if it influences voters for or against the nomination or election of one or more candidates in Michigan or the qualification, passage or defeat of one or more ballot questions in Michigan.

Que. Am I required to file electronically?
Ans. Certain committees are required to file electronically. A committee that spends or receives $5,000.00 or more in the preceding calendar year, or expects to spend or receive $5,000.00 or more in the current calendar year must file electronically. Committees that spend or receive less than $5,000.00 are not required to file electronically; however, we strongly urge committees to file electronically as the system allows committees to easily file timely and accurate reports.

Que. Can I choose to continue paper filings? If so, where do I get the forms to file a Campaign Statement?
Ans. Yes, however, we strongly urge committees to file campaign statements electronically for timely and accurate reports. Forms can be obtained by clicking on the link provided on our home page or go to www.michigan.gov/sos, select “Elections in Michigan”, “Campaign Finance Disclosure” and “Forms and Filing Materials”.

Que. What if my committee does not plan to spend or receive very much money?
Ans. The committee may be eligible for a Reporting Waiver. A committee that maintains a Reporting waiver is exempt from filing detailed Campaign Statements unless it exceeds the $1,000.00 threshold. A Political Party Committee or Political or Independent Committee (PAC) that does not expect to receive or spend more than $1,000.00 in a calendar year is eligible for a Reporting Waiver. A Candidate Committee or Ballot Question Committee that does not expect to receive or spend more than $1,000.00 in an election is eligible for a Reporting Waiver. A Committee that qualifies for, and receives a Reporting Waiver is exempt from filing detailed campaign statements until it exceeds $1,000.00 in receipts, expenditures or debt.

Que. How do I become eligible for a Reporting Waiver?
Ans. To become eligible for a reporting waiver, the committee must check Item 10 on its original Statement of Organization or an amended Statement of Organization. This tells the filing official that the committee does not expect to receive or spend more than $1,000.00 in the calendar year or election as is applicable. Note: a committee that does not check Item 10 on its Statement of Organization is not eligible for a Reporting Waiver and must file all required Campaign Statements regardless of the amount spent or received. A committee cannot amend its Statement of Organization to exempt itself from Campaign Statements that are past due.

Que. Where is my campaign statement filed?
Ans. Wayne County is the filing official for local candidates. Candidates for state offices, file Campaign Statements with the Bureau of Elections in Lansing.

Que. Are there other campaign statements I may have to file?
Ans. If the committee doesn't have a reporting waiver. In years in which there is no election for the Candidate, the committee must file a July and October Quarterly Campaign Statements.

Que. How do I find committee closing dates, filing deadlines and coverage dates?
Ans. Reminders regarding closing dates, filing deadlines and coverage dates are built into the system and can be found on the Home Page and the “Reminder” screen when you access your committee information. Information can also be found in committee manuals and on the Secretary of State’s web site at www.michigan.gov/sos under “Campaign Finance Disclosure"

Que. What if a candidate or political committee fails to file a required report?
Ans. In accordance with the Campaign Finance Act, a Notice of Failure to File is sent to the committee and/or person responsible for filing statements. Late filing fees are assessed in accordance with the Act. After 9 business days and before 12 business days have expired after the deadline for filing the statement or report, failures to file are reported to the Attorney General.

Que. How are late filing fees assessed?
Ans. Late filing fees are assessed pursuant to Sec. 33 (7) of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act at http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-169-233. A late filing fee chart is also available in committee manuals.

Que. Can I pay for late filing fees using committee funds?
Ans. Yes, committee funds may be used to pay late filing fees, with the exception of Annual Campaign Statements. Personal funds must be used to pay late filing fees for late filed Annual statements.

Que. After the election must a candidate or political committee continue to file campaign finance reports?
Ans. Yes. The committee must file annual statements unless the committee has a Reporting Waiver or requests that the committee be dissolved. A candidate elected to office must maintain a candidate committee until his or her term of office ends. Some candidate's may also be required to file A Post Election Campaign Finance Compliance Statement.

Que. How do I find information on a particular candidate’s campaign finance statement?
Ans. For local candidate committees, PACs and Ballot Question committees, the Wayne County Campaign Finance Information System will allow individuals to search for a particular committee’s campaign statements. For information on state level candidate committees, PACs and Ballot Question committees, you can link to the Bureau of Election's Searchable Database from our Home Page under "Campaign Finance Information" or go to www.michigan.gov/elections.

Que. How do I find the Michigan Campaign Finance Act?
Ans. Click on the link on our Home Page under Campaign Finance Information. You may also go to www.michigan.gov/elections

Late Contributions
Que. What is a late contribution?
Ans. A late contribution is a single contribution of $500.00 or more received between the 15th and 3rd day before the date of any election in which the committee participates. Late Contribution Reports are required when a candidate committee receives a single contribution or cumulative contribution from the same contributor of $500.00 or more after the closing date of the last campaign statement required and the 3rd day before an election where the candidate participates. A committee other than a candidate committee (PAC, Ballot Question or Political Party) receives a single contribution or a cumulative contributon from the same contributor of $2,500.00 or more after the closing date of the last campaign statement required and the 3rd day before an election. See Appendix G of the Campaign Finance Manual.

Que. When is a late contribution reported?
Ans. The filing official must receive a Late contribution Report within 48 hours after the committee’s receipt of the contribution.

Que. How is the late contribution reported?
Ans. The report can be filed electronically if you already have access to the system. Committees can also use a Late Contribution Report form (for Paper Filers ONLY) that can be found by linking from our Home Page (Forms and Manuals) to the State Bureau of Elections website. The Late Contribution Report need not contain a signature and may be filed on letterhead stationery or plain paper. In addition to this Report, a late contribution must be included on the next Campaign Statement filed by the recipient committee. A Reporting Waiver does not exempt a committee from filing a Late Contribution Report. Our fax number is (313) 224-6424.

Que. What must be reported in a Late Contribution Report?
Ans. A Late Contribution Report must contain the date and amount of the contribution along with the contributor’s name, street address, occupation, employer’s name and principal place of business. The report is not made on Campaign Statement forms and may be made by fax, telegram or any other means of written communication. The fax number for Wayne County is (313) 224-6424.

Que. What happens if a Late Contribution Report is not filed timely?
Ans. Late filing fees are assessed in accordance with the Campaign Finance Act. The maximum late filing fee is $2,000.00 if the report is not filed within 26 business days from the date it was due.

Independent Expenditures by Corporations, Unions and Domestic Dependent Sovereigns
Que. Where do I find information about U.S. Supreme Court Decision Issued January 21, 2010 Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission?
Ans. Information can be found on the Secretary of State's website at www.michigan.gov/sos.

Que. Is there any limit on the amount of money that a corporation, labor union, or domestic dependent sovereign can spend on independent expenditures for candidates or ballot proposals?
Ans. No. There is no limit on the amount of money that can be spent on independent expenditures.

Que. Is there a limited time frame when an independent expenditure can be made?
Ans. No. Independent expenditures can be made at any time. Care should be taken to ensure that the reporting requirements are met either by disclosing the independent expenditures in a required Campaign Statement or an Independent Expenditure Report as appropriate.

Que. What election types are included in the Citizens United and MI Chamber of Commerce decisions?
Ans. Corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns can make independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates in any state or local primary, general, special or recall election, or any political party caucus or convention.

Que. Can a corporation, labor organization, or domestic dependent sovereign make a contribution consisting of general treasury funds to a candidate?
Ans. No. The prohibition on corporate, union, or tribal contributions to candidates and committees that make contributions to candidates remains in effect. Corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns may not make contributions to candidates, candidate committees, independent committees, political committees (other than independent expenditure political committees), political party committees, or House or Senate political party caucus committees.

Que. Can a corporation, labor union, or domestic dependent sovereign contribute treasury funds to an independent expenditure political committee?
Ans. Yes. Under MI Chamber of Commerce et al v Land, corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns cannot be prohibited from making contributions to an independent expenditure political committee so long as the independent expenditures are not, in any way, directly or indirectly "coordinated" with a candidate, candidate committee, political party, or political party committee. The Department of State will consider an expenditure to be coordinated, and therefore prohibited, if it: 1. Was made in concert or cooperation with or at the request or suggestion of the candidate, candidate committee, or political party committee, or any of their agents, within the meaning of federal law, 2 USC 431(17); or 2. Was "made at the direction of, or under the control of, another person" within the meaning of MCL 169.209(2); or 3. Does not meet the definitions described above, but otherwise constitutes quid pro quo corruption or reasonably fosters the appearance of quid pro quo corruption. These factors are set forth in the July 23, 2010 order in the case of MI Chamber of Commerce et al v Land, 2010 US Dist LEXIS 75186 (WD MI, 2010).

Que. In view of Citizens United and MI Chamber of Commerce, what corporate, union, or tribal activity is prohibited by the MCFA?
Ans. Section 54 of the MCFA prohibits corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns from making contributions to candidates and committees that make contributions to candidates. It also prohibits corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns from pooling resources to make independent expenditures that are in any way: Directed by; controlled by; coordinated with; made at the suggestion of; made in concert with; made in cooperation with; made at the request of; Otherwise constitutes quid pro quo corruption or fosters the appearance of quid pro quo corruption with respect to... Any candidate or his or her agent; any candidate committee or its agent; any political party or its agent; any political committe or its agent.

Que. Do these decisions affect how corporations, unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns can participate through a registered Separate Segregated Fund?
Ans. No. Prior to the Citizens United and MI Chamber of Commerce decisions, corporations, labor organizations, or domestic dependent sovereigns could only contribute to candidates or make independent expenditures through the creation of a separated segregated fund, commonly referred to as a PAC. The PAC is funded through contributions made by certain qualified contributors, and no corporate, union, or tribal treasury monies can be transferred to the PAC.

Que. Can the corporate, union, or tribal treasury funds be commingled with the Separate Segregated Fund of the corporation, labor union, or tribe?
Ans. No. Treasury funds cannot be commingled with funds that are distributed to candidate committees, independent committees, political committees (other than those that exclusively make independent expenditures), political party committees, or House or Senate political party caucus committees.

Que. Were any of the reporting and disclosure requirements of the MCFA affected by the Citizens United and MI Chamber of Commerce decisions?
Ans. Yes. The MCFA's reporting requirements must be reconciled with the First Amendment rights of corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns to make independent expenditures in support of or in opposition to candidates, and to make contributions to independent expenditure political committees. See "Registration and Reporting Requirements" section above.

Que. What must be reported if less than $100.00 in a calendar year is spent on independent expenditures by a corporation, labor union, or domestic dependent sovereign not required to be registered under the MCFA as an independent expenditure political committee?
Ans. Nothing; however, records must be kept and reviewed to determine if and when a reporting threshold is reached.

Que. Does the decision affect how the Department interprets "Express Advocacy" in Michigan?
Ans. No. The decision has no affect on the Department of State's interpretation of express advocacy as it pertains to Michigan elections. Communications that do not expressly advocate the nomination or election of a candidate or the qualification, passage or defeat of a ballot question are not subject to the MCFA.

Que. What, if any, requirement is there to provide an identifier or disclaimer on print or broadcast advertisements purchased as an independent expenditure?
Ans. The identifier and disclaimer requirements of Section 47 of the MCFA were not affected by the decision. All printed or broadcast advertisements purchased as an independent expenditure in support of or opposition to a candidate must contain an identifier and disclaimer. For more information see Appendix J of the Political and Independent Committee (PAC) Manual.

Que. Do the Citizens United and MI Chamber of Commerce decisions affect how corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns can support or oppose ballot proposals?
Ans. No, these decisions do not affect how corporations, labor unions, or domestic dependent sovereigns can support or oppose ballot proposals. See the Ballot Question Committee Manual for more information.

Que. Has the Department of State issued any declaratory rulings concerning the Citizens United or MI Chamber of Commerce cases?
Ans. Yes, on May 21, 2010 the Department of State issued a Declaratory Ruling in response to a request from Mr. Robert LaBrant. The full text of the Declaratory Ruling is available on the Department of State's website. Please note, however, that this ruling has been rescinded as ordered by the court in the MI Chamber of Commerce case.

How do I get help in the system?
Que. How do I get help in the system?
Ans. To get help while in the system, click on the blue circle with the question mark on the top right of each page. Clicking on the circle will give instructions for that particular page. Also, a "how-to" video can be accessed by selecting "how-to" on the menu side of the page. Also you can call our office for help at (313) 224-2380 or (313) 224-0169.

2 Woodward Avenue,  Suite 502, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Detroit, MI 48226      Phone: 313-224-2380      Fax: 313-224-6424