3517.109 Disposal of any excess funds and excess aggregate contributions.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Candidate" has the same meaning as in section 3517.01 of the Revised Code but includes only candidates for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, member of the state board of education, and member of the general assembly.

(2) "Statewide candidate" means the joint candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor or a candidate for the office of secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, and member of the state board of education.

(3) "Senate candidate" means a candidate for the office of state senator.

(4) "House candidate" means a candidate for the office of state representative.

(5) "State office" means the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, member of the state board of education, and member of the general assembly.

(6) "Aggregate contribution" means the total of all contributions from a contributor during the pre-filing period.

(7) "Allowable aggregate contribution" means all of the following:

(a) In the case of a contribution from a contributor whose contributions are subject to the contribution limits described in division (B)(1), (2), (3), (6)(a), or (7) of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code, that portion of the amount of the contributor's aggregate contribution that does not exceed the preprimary contribution limit applicable to that contributor.

(b) In the case of a contribution or contributions from a contributor whose contributions are not subject to the contribution limits described in divisions (B)(1), (2), (3), (6)(a), or (7) of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code, the total of the following:

(i) That portion of the aggregate contribution that was received as in-kind services;

(ii) That portion of the aggregate contribution that was received as cash and does not exceed the applicable preprimary cash transfer or contribution limits described in division (B)(6)(b) of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code.

(8) "Excess aggregate contribution" means, for each contributor, the amount by which that contributor's aggregate contribution exceeds that contributor's allowable aggregate contribution.

(9) "Pre-filing period" means the period of time ending on the day that the candidacy petitions are due for the state office for which the candidate has filed and beginning on the latest date of the following:

(a) The first day of January of the year following the general election in which that state office was last on the ballot;

(b) The first day of January of the year following the general election in which the candidate was last a candidate for any office;

(c) The first day of the month following the primary election in which the candidate was last a candidate for any office.

(10) "Filing date" means the last date on which a candidacy petition may be filed for an office.

(11) "Applicable carry-in limit" means thirty-five thousand dollars if the candidate is a house candidate or a candidate for the state board of education, one hundred thousand dollars if the candidate is a senate candidate, and two hundred thousand dollars if the candidate is a statewide candidate other than a candidate for the state board of education.

(12) "Campaign asset" means prepaid, purchased, or donated assets available to the candidate on the date of the filing deadline for the office the candidate is seeking that will be consumed or depleted in the course of the candidate's election campaign, including, but not limited to, postage, prepaid rent for campaign headquarters, prepaid radio, television, and newspaper advertising, and other prepaid consulting and personal services.

(13) "Permitted funds" means the sum of the following:

(a) The total of the allowable aggregate contribution of each contributor;

(b) The applicable carry-in limit.

(14) "Excess funds" means the amount by which the sum of the total cash on hand and total reported campaign assets exceeds permitted funds.

(15) "Covered candidate" means both of the following:

(a) A candidate who, during the pre-filing period, accepts or has a campaign committee that accepts contributions on the candidate's behalf for the purpose of nominating or electing the candidate to any office not subject to the contribution limits prescribed in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code;

(b) A person who, during the pre-filing period, accepts or has a campaign committee that accepts contributions on the person's behalf prior to the person deciding upon or announcing the office for which the person will become a candidate for nomination or election.

(B) Each candidate who files for state office, not later than the filing date for that office, shall dispose of any excess funds. Each covered candidate who files for state office, not later than the filing date for that office, shall dispose of any excess aggregate contributions.

(C) Any campaign committee that is required to dispose of excess funds or excess aggregate contributions under division (B) of this section shall dispose of that excess amount or amounts by doing any of the following:

(1) Giving the amount to the treasurer of state for deposit into the state treasury to the credit of the Ohio elections commission fund created by division (I) of section 3517.152 of the Revised Code;

(2) Giving the amount to individuals who made contributions to that campaign committee as a refund of all or part of their contributions;

(3) Giving the amount to a corporation that is exempt from federal income taxation under subsection 501(a) and described in subsection 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(D)

(1) Subject to division (D)(2) of this section, no candidate or covered candidate shall appear on the ballot, even if certified to appear on the ballot, unless the candidate's or covered candidate's campaign committee has disposed of excess funds, excess aggregate contributions, or both as required by divisions (B) and (C) of this section.

(2) If the excess aggregate contributions accepted by a covered candidate or a covered candidate's campaign committee aggregate a total of less than five thousand dollars from all contributors, that candidate shall not be prohibited from appearing on the ballot under division (D)(1) of this section.

(E)

(1) The campaign committee of each candidate required to dispose of excess funds under this section shall file a report, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, with the official or board with which the candidate is required to file statements under section 3517.11 of the Revised Code. The report shall be filed by the seventh day following the filing deadline for the office the candidate is seeking, shall indicate the amount of excess funds disposed of, and shall describe the manner in which the campaign committee disposed of the excess amount.

(2) In addition to the information required to be included in a report filed under division (E)(1) of this section, the campaign committee of each covered candidate required to dispose of excess aggregate contributions under this section shall include in that report the source and amount of each excess aggregate contribution disposed of and shall describe the manner in which the campaign committee disposed of the excess amount.

(F)

(1) Each campaign committee of a candidate who has filed a declaration of candidacy or a nominating petition for a state office, not later than seven days after the filing date for the office the candidate is seeking, shall file a declaration of filing-day finances, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, with the official or board with which the candidate is required to file statements under section 3517.11 of the Revised Code.

(2) A declaration of filing-day finances shall list all of the following:

(a) The amount of cash on hand in the candidate's campaign fund on the filing date for the office the candidate is seeking.

(b) The value and description of all campaign assets worth five hundred dollars or more available to the candidate on the filing date. Assets purchased by the campaign shall be valued at actual cost, and in-kind contributions shall be valued at market value.

(c) The total of all aggregate contributions;

(d) The total of all allowable aggregate contributions;

(e) The applicable carry-in limit, if any.

(3) In addition to the information required to be included in a report of filing-day finances filed under division (F)(1) of this section, the campaign committee of each covered candidate shall include both of the following in that report:

(a) The total of all excess aggregate contributions;

(b) For each contributor, if any, for whom there is an excess aggregate contribution, the name, address, aggregate contribution, and excess aggregate contribution.

(G) A campaign committee of a candidate is not required to file a declaration of filing-day finances under division (F) of this section if all of the following apply:

(1) The campaign committee has not accepted, during the pre-filing period, any aggregate contribution greater than the applicable amount.

(2) The campaign committee had less than the carry-in amount in cash on hand at the beginning of the pre-filing period.

(3) The candidate files a declaration, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, with the official or board with which the candidate is required to file statements under section 3517.11 of the Revised Code not later than seven days after the filing date for the office that candidate is seeking, stating that the candidate's campaign committee has not accepted aggregate contributions as described in division (G)(1) of this section and has less than the carry-in amount in cash on hand as described in division (G)(2) of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 3517.109

History. Effective Date: 12-22-1999; 03-31-2005; 04-26-2005