Disclosure of Expenditures
Campaign Finance Requirements for a Person Making Expenditures Greater Than $10,000 in Support or Opposition to Constitutional Amendment Proposed by HB4 of the Acts of the General Assembly of the Special Session of 2007 (Slot Machine Gaming Referendum)
Pursuant to State Law, a person which includes a corporation, union, non-profit corporation, partnership, LLC, political club, and other entities shall notify the State Board of Elections (SBE) within 7 days of making cumulative expenditures beginning January 1, 2008 greater than $10,000 in support or opposition to the November referendum on Constitutional Amendment proposed by House Bill 4 of the Acts of the General Assembly of the Special Session of 2007 (known as the slot machine gaming referendum) the following information:
- The name of the person or entity,
- The name of the individual who directs the expenditures and who assumes the responsibility for filing the campaign finance reports,
- The address of the person or entity, and
- A declaration on whether the expenditures are to support or oppose the constitutional amendment.
Once the person or entity registers with SBE, they are required to electronically file campaign finance reports detailing all of the expenditures incurred by the person or entity associated with the slot machine gaming referendum. Expenditure means any gift, transfer, disbursement, or promise of money of thing of value by the person to promote the success or defeat of the slot machine gaming referendum. The campaign finance reports filing deadlines are as follows:
- October 10, 2008,
- October 24, 2008, and
- November 25, 2008
The person or entity does not have to report any contributions that they have received. However, if an entity is formed exclusively for the support or defeat of the slot machine gaming referendum and engages in campaign finance activities, i.e. raising and spending funds primarily for the slot machine gaming referendum, then the entity should contact SBE to see if they need to form as a ballot issue committee.
If the person or entity fails to file the campaign finance reports on or before the reporting deadline, the individual responsible for the filing will be assessed a late fee fine of $20.00 per day for the first six day and then $10.00 per day up to the maximum penalty of $250.00.
SBE is currently in the process of developing electronic expenditure reporting software (ERS) for the person or entity to comply with the law. The software is free of charge and will be available on the website. Additionally, a CD containing the software will be sent to the individual responsible for the filing of the campaign finance reports upon receipt of the filed notice by the person or entity.
The Office of Attorney General has issued an advice letter stating January 1, 2008 is the date to begin counting expenditures under this law. Also, the Office of the Attorney General has advised in a memorandum that making a contribution to a ballot issue committee in excess of $10,000 will not trigger the expenditure requirements under Chapter 620, Law of Maryland 2008.