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florida > The Florida Election Code > Campaign Financing

§ 106.07 Reports; certification and filing.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the requirement that campaign treasurers must file regular reports of all contributions and expenditures on the 10th day after the end of every calendar month. The statute also governs the filing requirements for candidates and political committees.

Statute

(1) Each campaign treasurer designated by a candidate or political committee pursuant to s.106.021 shall file regular reports of all contributions received, and all expenditures made, by or on behalf of such candidate or political committee. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b), reports shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time the campaign treasurer is appointed, except that, if the 10th day following the end of a calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the report shall be filed on the next following day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Monthly reports shall include all contributions received and expenditures made during the calendar month which have not otherwise been reported pursuant to this section.

(a) A statewide candidate or a political committee required to file reports with the division must file reports:

1. On the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and each week thereafter, with the last weekly report being filed on the 4th day immediately preceding the general election.
2. On the 10th day immediately preceding the general election, and each day thereafter, with the last daily report being filed the 5th day immediately preceding the general election.
(b) Any other candidate or a political committee required to file reports with a filing officer other than the division must file reports on the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and biweekly on each Friday thereafter through and including the 4th day immediately preceding the general election, with additional reports due on the 25th and 11th days before the primary election and the general election.
(c) Following the last day of qualifying for office, any unopposed candidate need only file a report within 90 days after the date such candidate became unopposed. Such report shall contain all previously unreported contributions and expenditures as required by this section and shall reflect disposition of funds as required by s. 106.141.
(d)1. When a special election is called to fill a vacancy in office, all political committees making contributions or expenditures to influence the results of such special election or the preceding special primary election shall file campaign treasurers’ reports with the filing officer on the dates set by the Department of State pursuant to s. 100.111.
2. When an election is called for an issue to appear on the ballot at a time when no candidates are scheduled to appear on the ballot, all political committees making contributions or expenditures in support of or in opposition to such issue shall file reports on the 18th and 4th days before such election.
(e) The filing officer shall provide each candidate with a schedule designating the beginning and end of reporting periods as well as the corresponding designated due dates.
(2)
(a)
1. All reports required of a candidate by this section shall be filed with the officer before whom the candidate is required by law to qualify. All candidates who file with the Department of State shall file their reports pursuant to s. 106.0705. Except as provided in s. 106.0705, reports shall be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the day designated; however, any report postmarked by the United States Postal Service no later than midnight of the day designated is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner. Any report received by the filing officer within 5 days after the designated due date that was delivered by the United States Postal Service is deemed timely filed unless it has a postmark that indicates that the report was mailed after the designated due date. A certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the date on which the report is due, suffices as proof of mailing in a timely manner. Reports other than daily reports must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received and expenditures made as of the preceding Friday, except that the report filed on the Friday immediately preceding the election must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received and expenditures made as of the day preceding that designated due date; daily reports must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received as of the preceding day. All such reports are open to public inspection.
2. This subsection does not prohibit the governing body of a political subdivision, by ordinance or resolution, from imposing upon its own officers and candidates electronic filing requirements not in conflict with s. 106.0705. Expenditure of public funds for such purpose is deemed to be for a valid public purpose.
(b)
1. Any report that is deemed to be incomplete by the officer with whom the candidate qualifies must be accepted on a conditional basis. The campaign treasurer shall be notified by certified mail or by another method using a common carrier that provides a proof of delivery of the notice as to why the report is incomplete and within 7 days after receipt of such notice must file an addendum to the report providing all information necessary to complete the report in compliance with this section. Failure to file a complete report after such notice constitutes a violation of this chapter.
2. Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of a written notice to the mailing or street address of the campaign treasurer or registered agent of record with the filing officer.
(3) Reports required of a political committee shall be filed with the agency or officer before whom such committee registers pursuant to s. 106.03(3) and shall be subject to the same filing conditions as established for candidates’ reports. Incomplete reports by political committees shall be treated in the manner provided for incomplete reports by candidates in subsection (2).

(4)

(a) Except for daily reports, to which only the contributions provisions below apply, and except as provided in paragraph (b), each report required by this section must contain:

1. The full name, address, and occupation, if any, of each person who has made one or more contributions to or for such committee or candidate within the reporting period, together with the amount and date of such contributions. For corporations, the report must provide as clear a description as practicable of the principal type of business conducted by the corporation. However, if the contribution is $100 or less or is from a relative, as defined in s. 112.312, provided that the relationship is reported, the occupation of the contributor or the principal type of business need not be listed.
2. The name and address of each political committee from which the reporting committee or the candidate received, or to which the reporting committee or candidate made, any transfer of funds, together with the amounts and dates of all transfers.
3. Each loan for campaign purposes to or from any person or political committee within the reporting period, together with the full names, addresses, and occupations, and principal places of business, if any, of the lender and endorsers, if any, and the date and amount of such loans.
4. A statement of each contribution, rebate, refund, or other receipt not otherwise listed under subparagraphs 1. through 3.
5. The total sums of all loans, in-kind contributions, and other receipts by or for such committee or candidate during the reporting period. The reporting forms shall be designed to elicit separate totals for in-kind contributions, loans, and other receipts.
6. The full name and address of each person to whom expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the committee or candidate within the reporting period; the amount, date, and purpose of each such expenditure; and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf such expenditure was made. However, expenditures made from the petty cash fund provided by s. 106.12 need not be reported individually.
7. The full name and address of each person to whom an expenditure for personal services, salary, or reimbursement for authorized expenses as provided in s. 106.021(3) has been made and which is not otherwise reported, including the amount, date, and purpose of such expenditure. However, expenditures made from the petty cash fund provided for in s. 106.12 need not be reported individually. Receipts for reimbursement for authorized expenditures shall be retained by the treasurer along with the records for the campaign account.
8. The total amount withdrawn and the total amount spent for petty cash purposes pursuant to this chapter during the reporting period.
9. The total sum of expenditures made by such committee or candidate during the reporting period.
10. The amount and nature of debts and obligations owed by or to the committee or candidate, which relate to the conduct of any political campaign.
11. Transaction information for each credit card purchase. Receipts for each credit card purchase shall be retained by the treasurer with the records for the campaign account.
12. The amount and nature of any separate interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit and identification of the financial institution in which such accounts or certificates of deposit are located.
13. The primary purposes of an expenditure made indirectly through a campaign treasurer pursuant to s. 106.021(3) for goods and services such as communications media placement or procurement services, campaign signs, insurance, and other expenditures that include multiple components as part of the expenditure. The primary purpose of an expenditure shall be that purpose, including integral and directly related components, that comprises 80 percent of such expenditure.
(b) Multiple uniform contributions from the same person, aggregating no more than $250 per calendar year, collected by an organization that is the affiliated sponsor of a political committee, may be reported by the political committee in an aggregate amount listing the number of contributors together with the amount contributed by each and the total amount contributed during the reporting period. The identity of each person making such uniform contribution must be reported to the filing officer as provided in subparagraph (a)1. by July 1 of each calendar year, or, in a general election year, no later than the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election.
(c) The filing officer shall make available to any candidate or committee a reporting form which the candidate or committee may use to indicate contributions received by the candidate or committee but returned to the contributor before deposit.
(5) The candidate and his or her campaign treasurer, in the case of a candidate, or the political committee chair and campaign treasurer of the committee, in the case of a political committee, shall certify as to the correctness of each report; and each person so certifying shall bear the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of each report. Any campaign treasurer, candidate, or political committee chair who willfully certifies the correctness of any report while knowing that such report is incorrect, false, or incomplete commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) The records maintained by the campaign depository with respect to any campaign account regulated by this chapter are subject to inspection by an agent of the Division of Elections or the Florida Elections Commission at any time during normal banking hours, and such depository shall furnish certified copies of any of such records to the Division of Elections or Florida Elections Commission upon request.
(7) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, in any reporting period during which a candidate or political committee has not received funds, made any contributions, or expended any reportable funds, the filing of the required report for that period is waived. However, the next report filed must specify that the report covers the entire period between the last submitted report and the report being filed, and any candidate or political committee not reporting by virtue of this subsection on dates prescribed elsewhere in this chapter shall notify the filing officer in writing on the prescribed reporting date that no report is being filed on that date.

(8)

(a) Any candidate or political committee failing to file a report on the designated due date is subject to a fine as provided in paragraph (b) for each late day, and, in the case of a candidate, such fine shall be paid only from personal funds of the candidate. The fine shall be assessed by the filing officer and the moneys collected shall be deposited:

1. In the General Revenue Fund, in the case of a candidate for state office or a political committee that registers with the Division of Elections; or
2. In the general revenue fund of the political subdivision, in the case of a candidate for an office of a political subdivision or a political committee that registers with an officer of a political subdivision.

No separate fine shall be assessed for failure to file a copy of any report required by this section.

(b) Upon determining that a report is late, the filing officer shall immediately notify the candidate or chair of the political committee as to the failure to file a report by the designated due date and that a fine is being assessed for each late day. The fine is $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. However, for the reports immediately preceding each special primary election, special election, primary election, and general election, the fine is $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. For reports required under s. 106.141(8), the fine is $50 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. Upon receipt of the report, the filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the candidate or chair or registered agent of the political committee. The filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine due based upon the earliest of the following:

1. When the report is actually received by such officer.
2. When the report is postmarked.
3. When the certificate of mailing is dated.
4. When the receipt from an established courier company is dated.
5. When the electronic receipt issued pursuant to s. 106.0705 or other electronic filing system authorized in this section is dated.

Such fine shall be paid to the filing officer within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due, unless appeal is made to the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to paragraph (c). Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address on record with the filing officer. In the case of a candidate, such fine is not an allowable campaign expenditure and shall be paid only from personal funds of the candidate. An officer or member of a political committee is not personally liable for such fine.

(c) Any candidate or chair of a political committee may appeal or dispute the fine, based upon, but not limited to, unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and shall be entitled to a hearing before the Florida Elections Commission, which shall have the authority to waive the fine in whole or in part. The Florida Elections Commission must consider the mitigating and aggravating circumstances contained in s. 106.265(2) when determining the amount of a fine, if any, to be waived. Any such request shall be made within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due. In such case, the candidate or chair of the political committee shall, within the 20-day period, notify the filing officer in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
(d) The appropriate filing officer shall notify the Florida Elections Commission of the repeated late filing by a candidate or political committee, the failure of a candidate or political committee to file a report after notice, or the failure to pay the fine imposed. The commission shall investigate only those alleged late filing violations specifically identified by the filing officer and as set forth in the notification. Any other alleged violations must be separately stated and reported by the division to the commission under s. 106.25(2).
(9) The Department of State may prescribe by rule the requirements for filing campaign treasurers’ reports as set forth in this chapter.

History:

s. 7, ch. 73-128; ss. 5, 15, 17, ch. 74-200; ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-8; s. 2, ch. 75-139; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 46, ch. 77-175; s. 23, ch. 79-164; ss. 7, 8, ch. 79-365; s. 4, ch. 79-378; s. 58, ch. 79-400; s. 52, ch. 81-259; s. 27, ch. 81-304; s. 2, ch. 82-143; s. 11, ch. 83-251; s. 37, ch. 84-302; s. 6, ch. 85-226; s. 1, ch. 86-134; s. 13, ch. 87-224; s. 9, ch. 89-256; s. 31, ch. 90-315; s. 2, ch. 90-338; s. 18, ch. 90-502; s. 7, ch. 91-107; s. 2, ch. 95-140; s. 640, ch. 95-147; s. 15, ch. 95-280; s. 7, ch. 97-13; s. 6, ch. 2001-75; s. 29, ch. 2002-17; s. 2, ch. 2002-197; s. 8, ch. 2003-1; ss. 17, 18, ch. 2004-252; s. 24, ch. 2005-286; ss. 5, 10, ch. 2006-300; s. 29, ch. 2008-95; s. 59, ch. 2011-40; s. 6, ch. 2012-5; s. 9, ch. 2013-37.

Definition [Department]

The Department of State.

Definition [Expenditure]

(a) A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication. However, “expenditure” does not include a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election when made by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate qualifies or an issue is placed on the ballot for that election, for the purpose of printing or distributing such organization’s newsletter, containing a statement by such organization in support of or opposition to a candidate or issue, which newsletter is distributed only to members of such organization.

(b) As used in chapter 106, an “expenditure” for an electioneering communication is made when the earliest of the following occurs:

1. A person enters into a contract for applicable goods or services;

2. A person makes payment, in whole or in part, for the production or public dissemination of applicable goods or services; or

3. The electioneering communication is publicly disseminated.

Definition [Contribution]

(a) A gift, subscription, conveyance, deposit, loan, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value, including contributions in kind having an attributable monetary value in any form, made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.

(b) A transfer of funds between political committees, between electioneering communications organizations, or between any combination of these groups.

(c) The payment, by a person other than a candidate or political committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a candidate or political committee without charge to the candidate or committee for such services.

(d) The transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, and the term includes interest earned on such account or certificate.

Notwithstanding the foregoing meanings of “contribution,” the term may not be construed to include services, including, but not limited to, legal and accounting services, provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or editorial endorsements.

Definition [Governing Body]

As used in ss. 101.292-101.295, “governing body” means the board of county commissioners of a county or any other governing body empowered by general or special act or local ordinance to purchase or sell voting equipment.

Definition [Filing Officer]

The person before whom a candidate qualifies or the agency or officer with whom a political committee or an electioneering communications organization registers.

Definition [General Election]

An election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law.

Definition [Primary Election]

An election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office.

Definition [Special Election]

A special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.

Definition [Campaign Treasurer]

An individual appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in chapter 106.

Definition [Political Committee]

1. A combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that, in an aggregate amount in excess of $500 during a single calendar year:

a. Accepts contributions for the purpose of making contributions to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;

b. Accepts contributions for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue;

c. Makes expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue; or

d. Makes contributions to a common fund, other than a joint checking account between spouses, from which contributions are made to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;

2. The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the following entities are not considered political committees for purposes of this chapter:

1. National political parties, the state and county executive committees of political parties, and affiliated party committees regulated by chapter 103.

2. Corporations regulated by chapter 607 or chapter 617 or other business entities formed for purposes other than to support or oppose issues or candidates, if their political activities are limited to contributions to candidates, political parties, affiliated party committees, or political committees or expenditures in support of or opposition to an issue from corporate or business funds and if no contributions are received by such corporations or business entities.

3. Electioneering communications organizations as defined in subsection (9).

 

Definition [Unopposed Candidate]

A candidate for nomination or election to an office who, after the last day on which a person, including a write-in candidate, may qualify, is without opposition in the election at which the office is to be filled or who is without such opposition after such date as a result of a primary election or of withdrawal by other candidates seeking the same office. A candidate is not an unopposed candidate if there is a vacancy to be filled under s. 100.111(3), if there is a legal proceeding pending regarding the right to a ballot position for the office sought by the candidate, or if the candidate is seeking retention as a justice or judge.

Definition [Communications Media]

Broadcasting stations, newspapers, magazines, outdoor advertising facilities, printers, direct mail, advertising agencies, the Internet, and telephone companies; but with respect to telephones, an expenditure is deemed to be an expenditure for the use of communications media only if made for the costs of telephones, paid telephonists, or automatic telephone equipment to be used by a candidate or a political committee to communicate with potential voters but excluding the costs of telephones incurred by a volunteer for use of telephones by such volunteer; however, with respect to the Internet, an expenditure is deemed an expenditure for use of communications media only if made for the cost of creating or disseminating a message on a computer information system accessible by more than one person but excluding internal communications of a campaign or of any group.

Definition [Special Primary Election]

A special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.

Definition [Issue]

A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election.

Definition [Ballot]

As used in the Electronic Voting Systems Act, ballot means the card, tape, or other vehicle upon which the elector’s choices are recorded.

Definition [Person]

An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee.

Definition [Division]

The Division of Elections of the Department of State.

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.

Definition [Purchase]

As used in ss. 101.292-101.295, “purchase” means a contract for the purchase, lease, rental, or other acquisition of voting equipment.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a) Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
(b) Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
(c) Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
(d) Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
(e) Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.
This definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.

Cases

florida Cases

Case Name: Beardslee v. Florida Elections Commission

Citation: 962 So.2d 390

Year: 2007

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/70dac05298f5d0ad0ccc131419f70e2b?query=962%20S[...]

Case Summary: Beardslee v. Florida Elections Commission held that Beardslee's husband's purchase of campaign yard signs from their joint personal bank account was an unreported campaign contribution, since an agency relationship existed between Beardslee (the candidate) and her husband. This was a willful violation of Florida campaign finance law, because it showed a disinterest and disregard of clearly established law.

Case Name: Jennings v. Florida Elections Commission

Citation: 932 So.2d 609

Year: 2006

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/4c8857780f51fc5355f665ae2ab755e3

Case Summary: Jennings v. Florida Elections Commission held that an amendment to s. 106.25, which expressly restricted the Commission's ability to investigate alleged violations to only those found in a sworn complaint, meant that the Commission was unable to proceed with specific complaints under 106.021 after the amendment was added.

Case Name: Shin v. Florida Elections Commission

Citation: 924 So.2d 72

Year: 2006

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/0a8e7d56bbf7a33b7b449367cfab4f07

Case Summary: Shin v. Florida Elections Commission held that while the candidate was unopposed in the primary, the qualifying fee was still a campaign expenditure that he had to report. Because he had a reportable expenditure, he had to file a campaign treasurer's report. His failure to do so led to an appropriately levied fine.

Case Name: Diaz de la Portilla v. Florida Elections Commission

Citation: 857 So.2d 913

Year: 2003

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/3b277af35230dd0ab70ba5e41d70ec7a

Case Summary: Diaz de la Portilla v. Florida Elections Commission held that the standard for chapter 106 cases is clear and convincing evidence, not a preponderance of the evidence. Also, candidates are allowed to rely on their campaign treasurers to maintain campaign records and prepare treasurer's reports, as long as all contributions and expenditures are routed through the campaign depository and the treasurer is actually qualified.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: McArthur v. Firestone

Citation: 817 F.2d 1548

Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court

Year: 1987

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/dc71b4758a95927656c9a0974438baff

Case Summary: McArthur v. Firestone held that although the most recent election had passed, proceedings against plaintiffs were not moot, since they were possibly subject to both civil and criminal penalties in failing to comply with Florida's campaign disclosure requirements. (This was resolved in McArthur v. Smith.)

Case Name: McArthur v. Smith

Citation: 716 F.Supp. 592

Federal District Court: Southern District of Florida

Year: 1989

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/435f7e9ce9bb5639454a82a2bf23362c

Case Summary: McArthur v. Smith held that Florida's campaign disclosure statutes did not apply to plaintiffs, a Socialist Workers' Party candidate and his supporters, because compelled disclosure would have subjected them to harassment and threats from private parties.

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 106, Disposition of surplus funds

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 110, Reports by campaign treasurer

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 112, Reports by political parties

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 221, Offenses relating to campaign financing-Certifying correctness of incorrect, false, or incomplete report

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:71, Overview

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:87, Reporting contributions or expenditures-Individuals

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:88, Reporting contributions or expenditures-PACs, corporations, lobbyists’ principals, etc.

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:91, Contributions or expenditures to political parties; issue advocacy; corporate activity on referenda; independent expenditures