3517.18 Uses of Ohio political party fund.

(A) A political party receiving moneys from the Ohio political party fund may expend the moneys only for the following purposes:

(1) The defraying of operating and maintenance costs associated with political party headquarters, including rental or leasing costs, staff salaries, office equipment and supplies, postage, and the purchase, lease, or maintenance of computer hardware and software;

(2) The organization of voter registration programs and get-out-the-vote campaigns and the costs associated with voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities, including, but not limited to, rental costs for booth spaces at fairs, festivals, or similar events if voter registration forms are available at those booths, printing costs for registration forms, mailing costs for communications soliciting voter registration, and payments for the services of persons conducting voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities;

(3) The administration of party fund-raising drives;

(4) Paid advertisements in the electronic or printed media, sponsored jointly by two or more qualified political parties, to publicize the Ohio political party fund and to encourage taxpayers to support the income tax checkoff program;

(5) Direct mail campaigns or other communications with the registered voters of a party that are not related to any particular candidate or election;

(6) The preparation of reports required by law.

(B)

(1) Moneys from the Ohio political party fund shall not be used for any of the following purposes:

(a) To further the election or defeat of any particular candidate or to influence directly the outcome of any candidate or issue election;

(b) To pay party debts incurred as the result of any election;

(c) To make a payment clearly in excess of the market value of the item or service that is received for the payment.

(2) Moneys from the Ohio political party fund that are used as rental costs for booth spaces at fairs, festivals, or similar events, at which candidates are present or informational materials about candidates are available, are not used in violation of division (B)(1)(a) of this section if voter registration forms also are available at those booths and booth space is available for use by all candidates of the party renting the booth.

(C) If there is a question about the legitimacy of a party expenditure of public moneys, a designated agent of a political party receiving moneys from the Ohio political party fund may request the Ohio elections commission for an advisory opinion on the matter prior to making an expenditure of those public moneys. The commission shall afford the highest priority to a request made under this division.

Effective Date: 08-23-1995