General Information: Contribution and Expenditure Reporting (ORS Chapter 260)
Every candidate and prospective candidate is required to establish a candidate committee by opening a campaign account and filing a Statement of Organization for Candidate Committee (SEL 220) and Campaign Account Information form (SEL 223) within 3 business days of receiving or spending any money to support the candidacy.
The candidate is not required to establish a campaign account, file a Statement of Organization or file contribution and expenditure transactions, if all three of the following conditions are met:
- the candidate serves as the candidate’s own treasurer
- the candidate does not have an existing candidate committee
- the candidate does not expect to receive or spend more than $750 during a calendar year
The $750 includes personal funds spent for any campaign related expenses, such as any costs related to circulating a nominating petition, paying the candidate filing fee, paying any Voters’ Pamphlet filing fee or cost of a Voters’ Pamphlet portrait. If the candidate exceeds $750 in either contributions or expenditures, the candidate must establish a campaign account and file a Statement of Organization within three business days after exceeding the threshold. Additionally, all contributions and expenditures made during the calendar year must be filed electronically not later than seven calendar days after the threshold has been exceeded.
Most candidates for federal office in Oregon file their campaign finance information with the Federal Election Commission (1 800 424 9530). Candidates for United States Senator file their campaign finance information with the Secretary of the Senate (202 224 0322) at: Office of Public Records, 232 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-7116.
A candidate, the candidate’s treasurer or the designated alternate transaction filer files contribution and expenditure transactions. “Candidate” includes any of the following:
- a candidate who files for office
- a candidate who withdraws or is disqualified
- an individual who files a prospective petition for candidacy, even if signatures are never filed
- an individual who has solicited or received a contribution or made an expenditure to secure the nomination or election to any public office at any time, whether or not the office for which the individual will seek nomination or election is known when the solicitation is made, the contribution is received and retained or the expenditure is made, and whether or not the name of the individual is printed on a ballot
Oregon election law requires all candidate committees to disclose timely and accurate contribution and expenditure transactions. All candidates must retain documentation pertaining to contributions received and expenditures made. Campaign finance transactions must be filed electronically using the Secretary of State’s online filing system, ORESTAR, or by using vendor software to upload transactions. In addition, the statute provides for civil penalties up to 10% of the amount of any late or insufficient transactions.
A candidate or committee that does not expect to receive or spend more than $2,000 in a calendar year may qualify to file a Certificate of Limited Contributions and Expenditures (PC 7).
See the Campaign Finance Manual for detailed information on filing a certificate (PC 7).
The candidate and treasurer are jointly responsible for the committee and for filing the contribution and expenditure transactions. If the treasurer violates any campaign finance regulations, the candidate is also in violation and jointly liable for any civil penalties.
For further detail on campaign finance requirements, see the Campaign Finance Manual and the ORESTAR User Manual. ORESTAR (Oregon Elections System for Tracking and Reporting) is the Secretary of State, Elections Division’s secure, web-based electronic reporting system.
Deadline to Report Contribution and Expenditure Transactions
Generally, a transaction is due no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the transaction. However, for the period between the 42nd day before the election and election day, transactions must be reported no later than seven days after the date of the transaction. For detailed deadlines, see the Campaign Finance Manual.