All candidates and political committees are required to report their contributions and expenditures from time to time throughout the year.
All candidates are cautioned to PAY ATTENTION to campaign finance. The campaign finance laws are serious. Failure to keep financial records and file the necessary reports can cause serious fines and penalties, including forfeiture of office. No successful candidate may take office until all reports have been filed and fines/fees owed are paid.
Candidates and committees that are active during an election year must file before and after the Primary and the General election on a schedule announced by the PA Department of State. The the 2021 filing schedule is HERE.
Committees that remain open, but are not active when an incumbent is not a candidate in a given year, generally need to file one annual report every year (even if they have no activity) by January 31 of the following year.
Candidates for statewide office, state legislative offices, or for Courts of Common Pleas file their original reports with the Secretary of the Commonwealth at the Pennsylvania Department of State. These state-level candidates must also file a copy of their campaign finance reports with the local election office in the county in which they reside.
Local and county-level candidates file their reports with the county elections office in the county where their nominating petitions were filed. If a campaign finance form mentions filing with the Secretary of the Commonwealth or directs you to an office in Harrisburg, local and county-level candidates simply need to substitute the Election Office of the county where they filed their nominating petitions or papers. For most candidates in Armstrong County, this would mean filing your forms with our Election Office in Kittanning.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE FILING EXCEPTION
An exception is made for candidates whose contributions (including in-kind contributions) received, the amount of money expended, and the liabilities incurred do not exceed $250.00. To be eligible for this exception, the candidate must complete a waiver form. This form is part of our Petition Packet and is usually returned when candidates file their petitions to run for office. Candidates who sign waivers must still keep financial records. If a candidate signed the waiver but later forms an authorized committed or has expenses, liabilities, or contributions in excess of $250, that waiver is void and regular campaign finance reports must be filed.
All campaign finance filings are public information and are available for inspection by the public in our offices at 450 E Market Street in Kittanning during normal business hours - 8AM – 4:30PM Monday thru Friday.
This form is for the use of candidates, political committees and contributing lobbyists that are required to disclose contributions and expenditures. (instructions are with the form)
You may file this statement instead of a full report when the amount of contributions (including in-kind contributions) received, the amount of money expended, and the liabilities incurred each did not exceed $250.00 during the reporting period. (instructions are with the form)
FORMING A CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
There are state-mandated forms for registration of a political committee and for a candidate to use to authorize a political committee to act on his or her behalf.
A committee may decide to terminate provided it has a zero balance with no funds, liabilities, or debts remaining. This would close the committee and, after the final report is filed, the requirement for annual reports would be ended. Please contact our office if you have questions about this.
Use this form to register a new political committee. You may also use it to amend the original registration when the committee appoints a new chairperson or treasurer, or changes any other required information.
The Pennsylvania Election Code provides that no treasurer of a political committee shall receive any money on behalf of a candidate until such political committee has been authorized in writing by the candidate on a form designed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. (further instructions available with form)
OTHER REGULATIONS THAT AFFECT CANDIDATES
If payment was made by a candidate's authorized political committee or their agents, the advertisement shall clearly and conspicuously state that the communication has been authorized (25 P.S. § 3258(a)(1-2)).
Any person, firm or corporation, political committee or party or member thereof, violating any of the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or to undergo an imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than two (2) years, or both, in the discretion of the court. (25 P.S. § 3258(a)(3))
The requirements . . . do not apply to bumper stickers, pins, buttons, pens and similar small items upon which the statement cannot be conveniently printed (4 Pa. Code § 181.1(b)).
Certificates for candidates' authorized watchers must be requested from the Armstrong County Election Office. Candidates are asked to request the certificates for their authorized watchers no later than the Friday before a Primary or Election. For more information, see 25 P.S. § 2687 or contact the Election Office.
WHO MAY BE IN THE POLLING PLACE
Candidates may not be inside a polling place at any time unless they have a Watcher’s Certificate or they are in the act of voting or waiting to vote. The only exception to this is that Judges of Election and Inspectors of Election may serve in the polling place when they are on the ballot to run for election or re-election to office as Judge or Inspector of Election, provided they are not on the ballot for any other public office.
Voters may quietly wear election insignia (campaign shirts, hats, buttons, etc.) or carry related campaign materials while in the act of voting or waiting to vote. They must not actively campaign in any way while doing this. NO ONE ELSE may wear or bring partisan or campaign items into the polling place (or within 10 feet of the entrance to a polling place) at any time while an election is in progress.