Please consult the 2018 - 2019 Indiana Campaign Finance Reporting Schedule to verify all campaign finance-related deadlines and reporting periods. Call the Election Board at (317) 327-2051 with questions.
Deadlines to note include the following (NOT a comprehensive list):
Candidates and political action committees are responsible for ensuring their compliance with federal and state laws governing campaign finance. Federal candidates open their committees and file their finance reports with the Federal Election Commission. Statewide and state legislative candidates open their committees and file their finance reports with the Indiana Election Division. Judicial officers, countywide, local officials and school board candidates in Marion County open their finance committees and file their campaign finance reports with our office.
You can open a campaign finance committee at any time. Please do not confuse opening a campaign finance committee – whether it’s an exploratory committee or you’ve declared for an office – with filing your declaration of candidacy. These are two separate and distinct actions. Opening a campaign finance committee means you have committed to raising or spending the threshold amount under state law triggering the filing of campaign finance reports. (You can view those rules in the Indiana Election Division’s Campaign Finance Manual.) You open a finance committee using a CFA-1, which you can download from our forms section. Once your committee is opened, you are obligated to following the campaign finance reporting schedule until you close your committee!
The candidate filing period occurs at very specific times each election cycle, and requires candidates to file specific forms for their name to appear on the ballot in a primary or general election. (You can view those resources on our Running for Office page or reviewing the Indiana Election Division’s Candidate Manual.) Again, do not confuse opening a campaign finance committee with filing a declaration of candidacy. The former means you are raising and spending money to seek the office; the latter is a request for your name to appear on the ballot.
There are different sets of campaign finance deadlines for candidates who are on the ballot in the current election cycle and those candidates with an open campaign committee that do not appear on the ballot in the current election cycle. If the office you are seeking appears on the ballot in the current election cycle and you have an open committee, please refer to the state’s election calendar for the appropriate campaign finance deadlines. If you have an open committee and the office is not on the ballot this election cycle, then you are required to file an annual report. You can learn much more by reviewing the Indiana Election Division's Campaign Finance Manual.
Marion County candidates and those political action committees required to file with the Marion County Election Board can file their report in one of the following ways:
Though deadline dates may vary throughout the year, campaign finance filing dates close promptly at NOON (12PM) on the deadline day. Open committees that do not timely file are subject to a $50 a day fine, which begins at 12:01PM on the deadline date, up to a maximum of $1,000. Committees are notified of any fines accrued as a result of non-compliance with the deadline. Committees can choose to pay their fines in the full amount, reach a settlement agreement with the Election Board (see the Marion County Election Board’s Settlement campaign finance policy.pdf) or ask the Board to waive their fines by attending the Election Board meeting where these hearings are scheduled.
Indiana Campaign Finance Manual (2018)
Indiana Election Division Candidate Manual (2018)
Please note: This information is not intended to be or replace legal advice. Whenever your important legal rights are at issue, please seek the advice of an attorney.