Candidate Committee FAQs
When do I need to register with the Campaign Spending Commission (“Commission”) as a Candidate Committee?
Registration with the Commission as a candidate committee is required within ten (10) days of the either event occurring: 1) You file nomination papers for a state or county office with the Office of Elections or County Clerk’s Office; or 2) You receive contributions or make or incur expenditures in an aggregate amount of more than $100.
Registering with the Commission means electronically filing an Organizational Report in the Candidate Filing System (“CFS”). In order to access or login to the CFS, the candidate committee must complete and submit an Electronic Filing Form to obtain a username and password.
For more information, go to https://ags.hawaii.gov/campaign/main/register/.
Registering with the Commission means electronically filing an Organizational Report in the CFS. In order to access or log in to the CFS, the candidate committee must complete and submit an Electronic Filing Form to obtain a username and password from the Commission.
I have a new chairperson and treasurer but the Candidate Filing System (CFS) is not letting me change the name of the chairperson or treasurer in my Organizational Report. Why not?
You will not be able to change the name of the chairperson or treasurer. If there is a change, you must complete and submit a new Candidate Committee Electronic Filing Form with the candidate’s signature and that of the new officer. This must be completed within ten (10) days the change is brought to the attention of the committee’s chairperson or treasurer. The Commission will input the names of your new officer(s). Your committee will then be responsible for updating their contact information (i.e., phone number, email address, and mailing address).
Submit a new Candidate Committee Electronic Filing Form with the candidate’s signature and that of the new officer. The Commission will change the name of the chairperson or treasurer on your Organizational Report. Your committee will then be responsible for updating your new officer’s contact information by logging in to the CFS and filing an amended Organizational Report.
Update your committee’s Organizational Report by filing an amended Organizational Report.
Log in to the CFS, click on Administration, select Edit Organizational Report, make the necessary changes, scroll to the bottom, and click on “File Report.”
Filing A Disclosure Report
I did not receive any contributions or make any expenditures during the current reporting period, am I required to file a disclosure report?
Yes, even if a committee has no activity (e.g., received zero contributions or spent zero money) to report for any applicable reporting period, a disclosure report must still be filed.
Report the full amount of the contribution (i.e., $25) in Schedule A Contributions and report the fee (i.e., $2.50) in Schedule B Expenditures.
When the filing process has been completed, a Filing Confirmation page will appear. All reports filed with the Commission are available for public inspection on the Commission’s website (www.hawaii.gov/campaign). Click on “Candidate Committees” then “View Reports & Fundraiser Notices,” and “Candidate Contribution and Expenditure Reports and Organizational Reports.” Enter the candidate’s name in the Search Box and click on Search. When the candidate’s name appears, click on the candidate’s name for a list of reports filed.
Log in to the Candidate Filing System and click on Amend Mode, make the necessary changes in the appropriate schedule, and file the report.
Any advertisement that is broadcast, televised, circulated, published, distributed, or otherwise communicated, including by electronic means, shall contain a notice in a prominent location the name and address of the candidate, candidate committee, noncandidate committee, or other person paying for the advertisement.
Follow the instructions on the letter and/or submit payment via PayPal or by checks payable to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund sent to the following address:
Campaign Spending Commission
235 South Beretania Street, Room 300
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Online Payment Link: www.hawaii.gov/campaign/payment
Loans only apply to candidate committees. Loans to or from a noncandidate committee are prohibited. Loans are expenditures that exceed $1,500 after a 30-day period that are not reimbursed within 45 days.
How do I report a reimbursement (less than $1,500 within a 30-day period) to the candidate, an employee, or volunteer that has been repaid within 45 days?
Sometimes the candidate, volunteer, or employee might make expenditures on behalf of the candidate committee. Even though a single check payable to the candidate, volunteer, or employee may be used to make the payment, the committee report needs to show the amount, vendor’s name, address, and purpose of each reimbursable expenditure that is associated with the payment.
Enter the market value of the non-monetary contribution in Schedule A Contributions and make a corresponding entry in Schedule B Expenditures. This is very important to prevent inflating your committee’s cash on hand amount.
Do I need to wait until a filing deadline or the close of a reporting period to being entering expenditures and contributions?
No, the CFS will keep track of your expenditures and contributions. It is recommended that financial information is entered into the CFS as it becomes available.
Some money received by committees are not considered “contributions” for reporting purposes. An “other receipt” is money received by a committee that does not meet the definition of contribution, but still is reportable. Examples include: candidate’s own funds, interest, public funds received from the Commission, rebates, refunds, and sale of durable assets.
Yes, an executed loan document must be submitted to the Commission for every loan in excess of $100. If a loan was received that exceeds the limits, call the Commission at (808) 586-0285.
Each loan forgiven by a candidate must be off-set in the same amount in Schedule C – Other Receipts.
Loans forgiven by immediate family members and other persons with their permission may be reclassified as a contribution on Schedule A – Contributions subject to the candidate’s contribution limits.
There is a specific schedule for unpaid expenditures – Schedule E Unpaid Expenditures. Paid unpaid expenditures should be entered on Schedule A Contributions. Unpaid expenditures and paid unpaid expenditures should never be reported on Schedule B Expenditures Made.
The Late Contributions Report must be filed by candidates that receive contributions aggregating more than $500 from any person within the period of 14 calendar days through 4 calendar days prior to a primary, special primary, general or special general election. The report is required to be electronically filed no later than 3 calendar days prior to the applicable election. Contributions listed on the Late Contributions Report will also be listed on an applicable Disclosure Report; however, the contribution data is only entered once.
An excess contribution is any contribution over the legal limit. If an excess contribution is returned within 7 days of receipt, the excess contribution is not required to be reported. If you miss the 7 day return, the excess contribution must be reported on the applicable disclosure report and returned to the original contributor within 30 days of receipt of the excess contribution. Any excess contribution not returned to the original contributor within 30 days shall escheat to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund. Call the Commission at (808) 586-0285 to report the excess contribution.
Please go to the Partial Public Funding page: https://ags.hawaii.gov/campaign/cc/public-funding-programs/partial-public-funding/ and review the Partial Public Funding Guidebook for Candidate Committees.
I submitted the Affidavit To Voluntarily Agree With Campaign Expenditure Limits, but I discovered that I went over the limit. What do I need to do?
Pursuant to HRS §11-426, on the day that you exceed your expenditure limit, you must:
- Notify all opponents, the Office of Elections, and the Commission by telephone and in writing on the day the expenditure limit is exceeded;
- Pay the balance of the full filing fee for nomination papers to the Office of Elections or your respective County Clerk’s Office;
- Provide reasonable notice to all contributors within thirty (30) days of exceeding the limit that the expenditure limit was exceeded; and
- Return all public funds (if received) within fourteen (14) days.
At this point in time, you are no longer eligible to receive public funds.
Failure to comply with these steps may result in an administrative fine up to $1,000 as set forth in the Commission’s Schedule of Fines which is available for viewing on the Commission’s website at https://ags.hawaii.gov/campaign/schedule-of-fines/.
To end or terminate your registration with the Commission, submit a Request for Termination of Registration form and your closing bank account statement. To qualify for termination, your last report filed with the Commission must show a zero (0) balance with no surplus or deficit.
No, termination of the committee’s registration is not official until the Commission approves your request. The committee must continue to file reports until your request is approved by the Commission and your committee has received a signed copy of the termination request form. If you do not receive a signed copy within ten (10) days of filing the request, please call the Commission at (808) 586-0285.