Campaign Disclosure

Specific questions about campaign disclosure should be directed to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Campaign Disclosure Division at 217/782-4141. Additional important information regarding Campaign Disclosure can be found in the State Board of Election’s “A Guide to Campaign Disclosure”. The guide can be downloaded below.

ELECTRONIC FILING

Some political committees require electronic filing with the State Board of Elections. Any political committee, during any reporting period beginning July 1, 1999, which has had a balance of $25,000 or has had $25,000 in contributions, loans received, or expenditures, must file campaign documents electronically. In July of 2003 that threshold will drop to $10,000. Once a committee begins to file electronically, they must continue to do so until the committee dissolves. To access the IDIS program, click here.

WHO IS COVERED BY THE ACT

The Illinois Campaign Disclosure Act applies to all candidates for public office, groups of candidates or political action committees (PACs) who have accepted contributions or made expenditures in excess of $5,000 within a 12-month period, in support of or in opposition to (1) a candidate or candidates for public office, or (2) any question of public policy to be submitted to the voters. Once the threshold has been reached, the Act requires the committee to file campaign disclosure documents with the State Board of Elections and/or the County Clerk.

From the beginning of the campaign, records of financial transactions must be maintained in order to determine filing status. A contribution is cash, loans or anything of value/in-kind contributions received for political purposes. Goods or services provided or purchased on behalf of the campaign, must be reported as an in-kind contribution.

Any personal contributions or loans by a candidate to his/her campaign must also be considered when determining if or when the threshold has been reached.

To see if you need to file under this Act, click here.

WHO IS NOT COVERED BY THE ACT

  • Individuals running for federal office.
  • Individuals running for party office.
  • Corporations, associations, labor unions, or individuals who make political donations strictly from corporate profits, union treasury, or personal income. If a corporation or a labor unionsolicits funds to support or oppose candidates, or a question of public policy, such exclusion would not apply.

D-5 NOTICE OF OBLIGATION

Within two business days of filing nomination petitions, candidates for public office will be notified of his/her responsibilities under the Illinois Campaign Disclosure Act. If a candidate files nomination papers in person, the notice may be received over-the-counter. To download the D-5 Notice of Obligation, click here.

WHERE ARE REPORTS FILED

All candidates for public office are required to file a Statement of Economic Interest with either the Secretary of State or the County Clerk.

  • A candidate filing a Statement of Economic Interest with theSecretary of State, and any group(s) supporting or opposing such candidate will file all required documents with the Illinois State Board of Elections (State Political Committee).    
  • A candidate filing a Statement of Economic Interest with the office of the County Clerk, and group(s) supporting or opposing such candidate will file all original documents with the Illinois State Board of Elections and a duplicate copywith the office of the County Clerk.     
  • An individual or group of individuals supporting or opposing a question of public policy to be submitted to the voters in more than one county, will file all required documents with theState Board of Elections. A question of public policy submitted to the voters in one county, will file all originaldocuments with the State Board of Elections and a duplicate copy with the office of the County Clerk.

FORMING A COMMITTEE

Because the law prohibits the commingling of campaign funds with any personal funds of officers, members or associates of a political committee, opening a separate segregated bank account is the first step in forming a political committee. When opening a campaign account, the financial institution may request that the political committee apply for an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service. This procedure eliminates attaching an individual’s social security number to a campaign account which could result in personal tax liability. To obtain an application for an employer identification number, form SS-4, or assistance; contact the IRS at (816/926-5999).

The law requires that every political committee have a chairmanand a treasurer. The same person may hold both positions at the same time. Financial transactions of the political committee cannottake place when a vacancy occurs in the office of either the chairman or the treasurer. Any change in the office of chairman or treasurer must be reported within ten days. Also, no expenditure can be made without the authorization of the chairman or treasurer.

DISCLOSURE ON POLITICAL LITERATURE

Any pamphlet, circular, handbill, advertisement, or other political literature must contain the name of the individual or organization responsible for its distribution. This disclosure is not required if the item is too small to contain it. This disclosure is required whether or not the literature is soliciting contributions. If the literature is soliciting contributions, this disclosure must be included in addition to the notice required on materials soliciting funds.

NOTICE REQUIRED ON MATERIALS SOLICITING FUNDS

During the course of the campaign, activities may be planned to raise funds for the committee. If the campaign solicits funds through ticket sales, literature, broadcast media, the internet or any form of political advertisement, the law requires that the following notice appear:

  • (State Political Committee) “A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.”   
  • (Local Political Committee) “A copy of our report filed with the County Clerk is (or will be) available for purchase from the County Clerk, (county clerk’s address), Illinois.”   
  • (State/Local Political Committee) “A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections and the County Clerk is (or will be) available for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois, or from the County Clerk (county clerk’s address), Illinois.”

FILING A D-1 STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION

Once it has been determined that your campaign has exceeded $5,000, the organization must file a Statement of Organization, Form D-1, with the proper authority within 10 business days. If a committee forms within 30 days of the election, the D-1 Statement of Organization must be filed within 5 business days. To download a D-1 Statement of Organization, click here.

WHAT TYPE OF REPORTS ARE REQUIRED AND WHEN ARE THEY FILED

All political committees are required to report their financial activity on official forms distributed by the Illinois State Board of Elections. Alternative methods of reporting, i.e., computer generated, must have prior written authorization. The Form D-2, Report of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures, will be the official form used by political committees to disclose receipts, expenditures, debts, fund balances, and investments. For a list of forms available for download, click here.

There are two (2) primary types of reports that are filed: semi-annual and pre-election.

Semi-annual reports are filed every six (6) months, requiring a political committee to disclose its financial activity during thereporting periods January 1st through June 30th, and July 1st through December 31st. These two (2) semi-annual reports must be filed within thirty (30) days after the close of the reporting period: June 30th – filed no later than July 31st; December 31st – filed no later than January 31st. EVERY POLITICAL COMMITTEE is required to file semi-annual reports.

Pre-election reports are filed by political committees that are supporting /opposing any candidate(s) or question(s) of public policy to be submitted to the voters. Due to the different elections conducted in the State of Illinois, reporting periods will vary. However, all pre-election reports will have the same closing date for its reporting period; thirty (30) days prior to an election. Pre-election reports must be filed on or before the fifteenth day after the close of the reporting period. To download the State Board of Elections annual filing calendar, click here.

Political committees involved in an election may have an additional filing obligation besides a Pre-election report. A treasurer of a political committee that receives a contribution, including loans, personal monies and in-kind, of $500 or more, in an aggregate from any one source, during the thirty (30) days prior to an election must file a Schedule A-1 within two (2) business days of receipt.

RAFFLE INFORMATION

Illinois law allows political committees to conduct raffles, IF, they have been in existence for a period of one (1) year, have obtained a raffle license from the Illinois State Board of Elections, and have no outstanding fines. For additional information, contact the State Board of Elections at 217/782-4141. To download a raffle application, click here.

For additional important information regarding Campaign Disclosure, download a copy of the State Board of Election’s “A Guide to Campaign Disclosure” by clicking here.