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What are campaign finance requirements in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Running for office in Kentucky requires you to be knowledgeable about the campaign process, including understanding the campaign finance requirements. There are many regulations on how campaign funds can be used and how often you must report information about your campaign’s funds. While these rules can seem cumbersome, they exist to help maintain fair elections and prevent candidates from gaining unfair advantages.

Filing campaign finance documents

All state candidates are required to file campaign finance documents with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Before raising money for your campaign, you must file with the Kentucky Secretary of State. You also need to file forms indicating who will act as your treasurer and which financial institution you will be using for your campaign funds. There are two situations in which you will be allowed to request an exemption from reporting the funds you raise during your campaign.

The first exemption is for anyone who doesn’t intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 during their campaign. If this applies to you, you don’t have to file any pre-election or post-election financial documents unless your funds exceed $1,000. The other exemption is for those who wish to raise or spend less than $3,000. With this exemption, you’re only required to file the 30-day post-election report.

Campaign funds in excess of $3,000

If you plan to raise or spend more than $3,000, you must file multiple reports at designated time periods during your campaign. These include a 32-day pre-election statement, a 15-day pre-election statement, a 30-day post-election statement and a 60-day post-election statement if you have a surplus of funds or debt owed on the 30-day post-election statement. An annual report may also be required if you have surplus funds or debt on your 60-day statement.

Each of these reports must include details of the contributions to your campaign. These details include information about the person or entity who contributed, the address of the contributor, the amount contributed and other information. The reports should also list in detail how your campaign is spending those funds.

Legal questions or concerns

Campaigning for office in Kentucky comes with much responsibility, especially when pertaining to the way one collects, spends and reports funds. Failing to follow the regulations associated with campaign finance requirements could lead to legal trouble. If you’re facing accusations about misuse of funds or have questions or concerns about a related issue during or after your campaign, you can benefit from speaking to an attorney so that you know how best to protect yourself.