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August 28, 2013
Secretary of State Bennett Reminds Citizens of Campaign Finance Changes

MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Secretary of State Jim Bennett is urging candidates and political action committees to be mindful of a September 4th deadline to file campaign finance reports.  The new reporting schedule was required by reforms approved by the legislature for candidates participating in the 2014 election cycle.

A few important changes will come with this September 4th report.   On August 1, the threshold for all candidates, regardless of position sought, was lowered to $1,000. Therefore, all candidates who have either raised or spent $1,000 in their campaigns are required to file a report on September 4th with the secretary of state or the probate judge, depending on the office sought.

Also beginning on that same date, penalties shall be assessed for reports that are not timely or accurately filed with the respective filing official. The amounts are as follows:

-First offense: $300 or 10 percent of the amount not properly reported, whichever is greater.

-Second offense: $600 or 15 percent of the amount not properly reported, whichever is greater.

-Third offense: $1,200 or 20 percent of the amount not properly reported, whichever is greater.

-Fourth offense: A rebuttable presumption of intent to violate the reporting requirements of the Fair Campaign Practices Act is created.

Intentional violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act can be prosecuted by the Attorney General or the district attorney for the appropriate jurisdiction, with penalties ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony, depending on the offense.

“With these changes to the FCPA, we will have more accurate reports from candidates and PACs,” said Bennett. “Campaign finance disclosure is an essential tool for voters to use in deciding who the best candidate may be.  In passing campaign finance reform and online reporting, the legislature took a major step forward.” 

 

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For more information, visit Secretary of State Jim Bennett’s Web Site:  http://www.sos.alabama.gov/