Maryland Campaign Reporting Information System
MDCFRMS
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Categories:
ReConnecting Your Committee
Committee Registration
Bank Accounts
Using Campaign Finance Funds
Campaign Finance
General Questions
Closing Your Committee
Independent Expenditures and Participating Organizations
Making Expenditures
 
Question and Answers:
ReConnecting Your Committee
Que. Why does the verification show that I am not a registered voter when I am?
Ans. That is because the piece of information provided, either your last 4 digits of your Social Security number or Driver's license, could not be verified against the voter registration records. The best form of ID is your voter id number. If you don't know that number, please contact the State Board of Elections at 410-269-2880.

Que. After one officer has activated the committee with MD CRIS, does the other officer need to as well?
Ans. Yes. The other officer must go through the same initial process via ReConnect to Your Committee in order to receive a temporary password. The email account used during the process will be the username. Once the other officer has received the email, please log in and change the password. The other officer will be able verify the filed report under My verifications.

Committee Registration
Que. If I send in a new appointment for a Treasurer and/or Chairman, do I immediately replace the previous officer?
Ans. No, the previous officer must resign in writing prior to the appointment of any new officer.

Que. What happens if there is a vacancy with either my chairman or treasurer?
Ans. If you are missing an officer you may not have any financial activity until a new officer is appointed. It is very important for a campaign finance entity to fill any vacancy either by resignation or death immediately.

Que. Can a candidate join a slate committee without having a candidate committee?
Ans. No, candidates must have their own campaign finance entity established prior to joinng a slate committee.

Que. Are candidates still members of a slate after the election?
Ans. Only if the candidate wins election, otherwise the candidate will be removed from the slate. A slate must have two active candidates as member to remain active.

Que. My central committee appointed me Treasurer, do I notify SBE?
Ans. Yes, if your party central committee voted a new officer, the new officer has to send in the appointment form to SBE and the previous officer needs to send SBE a resignation letter.

Bank Accounts
Que. What is required to open a campaign depository account at a bank?
Ans. Most banks will require a Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number), personal identification and a Resolution of Authority.

Que. What documents satisfy the Resolution of Authority requested by banks to open a depository account?
Ans. A bank should accept the processed Statement of Organization for a newly formed committee by the SBE to open a depository account.

Using Campaign Finance Funds
Que. I have a State campaign finance entity but want to run for U.S. Congress, can I transfer over the monies to my federal campaign entity?
Ans. Generally, Maryland campaign funds are for State candidates. However, it is permissible for a State campaign finance entity to make expenditures to support a federal candidate or federal PAC. In order to make a contribution, the entity's account must have federally permissible funds equaling the contribution. Please contact the Federal Election Commission to find out what are the contribution limits and reporting requirement, if any.

Que. Can a campaign finance entity pay late fees?
Ans. Yes, Maryland law states that a campaign finance entity shall pay for late fees. If the committee is unable to pay the late fees, then it becomes the personal liability of the Chair and Treasurer.

Que. Can I invest campaign funds in a certificate of deposit (CD) that matures before the election?
Ans. Yes. However, there are limits on how campaign funds may be invested. Please review COMAR 33.13.06.03B before making any investments.

Campaign Finance
Que. Are there limits to cash contributions?
Ans. Yes, a person may make cash contributions up to $100 for an election cycle. Once the person contributes $100, the person can no longer make any cash contributions for the remainder of the election cycle.

Que. Are campaign treasurers required to keep a copy of receipts issued for campaign contributions?
Ans. It is not required for treasurers to keep copies of contributions receipts. The only receipt that the law requires treasurers to keep as part of the treasurer's books and records is the receipt from a campaign expenditure.

Que. If I do a "Pass the Hat" fundraiser, is it required I know all who contributed and the amount?
Ans. Yes. The committee needs to know the name and address of every contributor and amount they gave, otherwise the income is anonymous and illegal.

Que. Is the use of a business telephone(s) by a campaign for election related activities such as polling an in-kind contribution?
Ans. Yes. The campaign must report the use and cost of the telephone(s) as an in-kind contribution subject to the $6,000 contribution limit.

Que. For every credit card contribution, a fee is assessed for the transaction. How should this be reported?
Ans. A person makes a credit card contribution of $100 to a candidate committee. The candidate committee hired a service to process the transaction. The hired service charges 1% on the amount per transaction. The candidate committee reports receiving a contribution of $100 from the person and also reports making an expenditure of $1 to the hired service. It is not necessary to make the expenditures for every transaction but the cumulative total weekly or monthly depending on how the committee is billed.

General Questions
Que. Can a federal PAC give to a Maryland campaign finance entity?
Ans. Yes, a federal PAC is treated like a person under Maryland law. The contribution limits are $6,000 per campaign finance entity and $24,000 aggregate for the election cycle.

Que. Can I use old campaign material for this campaign?
Ans. Yes, but only if the committee name and authority line remains identical. For example, a candidate committee account cannot use the same campaign paraphernalia from a previous campaign if the treasurer is different.

Closing Your Committee
Que. Can I close my authorized candidate campaign committee while I'm still on the ballot?
Ans. No, the candidate committee must remain active and open during the election. If you lose in the primary election, you may close your committee with the first report due AFTER the Primary election. You may not close your committee prior to the Primary election if you are an active candidate on the Primary election ballot.

Independent Expenditures and Participating Organizations
Que. If an out-of_State political committee makes independent expenditures must it file independent expenditures reports?
Ans. Yes. Even if the out-of-State political committee has registered with SBE under Election Law Article 13-301, the out-of-State political committee is not exempt from the disclosure obligations for making independent expenditures.

Que. Does a federal political committee need to register as a participating organization and file disbursement reports if it makes a contribution to a Maryland candidate?
Ans. Yes, If a federal political committee makes a contribution of $6,000 or more to a Maryland candidate, the federal committee needs to register as a participating organization. If the federal committee makes aggregate disbursements of $10,000 or more in an election cycle, it is required to file a report of all disbursements made to influence elections in Maryland.

Making Expenditures
Que. Can a campaign finance entity use a debit card to make cash withdrawals to make expenditures?
Ans. No, while it is permissible to use a debit card for purchases, it is not permitted to make cash withdrawals from it.

151 West Street Suite 200 Annapolis MD 21401 Phone: 410-269-2880 Fax: 410-974-2019 Email: info.sbe@maryland.gov