Tip of the week!

  • Every day, diligence counts. Recording contributions and expenses on your Election Finance Statement as these items occur will cut down on data entry errors. If you wait until your statement is due to record contributions and expenses and experience a problem, time will likely be too short to correct the problem and file your Election Finance Statement in a timely manner.
  • Your campaign begins the day you first spend or receive funds for an election. Use this as the starting date of your first Election Finance Statement. The Registry recommends using the "report due date" as the end date for the reporting period. Reporting dates should NOT overlap or leave gaps.
  • A candidate must open a separate bank account for all campaign activity, regardless of how much money is raised or spent. This is true even if the candidate is the only contributor to the campaign. Otherwise, the candidate subjects his or her personal bank account to a Registry audit or investigation.
  • A candidate may contribute or loan unlimited amounts of the candidate’s personal funds to the campaign. However, these candidate contributions or loans must be deposited in a campaign bank account.
  • Check spending options now. A candidate may change his or her spending option (see KREF Form 001, Section 4) during the fifteen (15) day period after the ballot access filing deadline. The deadline to designate or rescind a spending option for the 2014 Primary is February 12, 2014.
  • A candidate’s spouse may contribute the same amount to the candidate as any other person, which is $1,000 per election. For campaign finance purposes, the Primary and the General are separate elections.
  • Need advice? The Registry’s Advisory Opinion process allows persons to obtain a legal opinion from the Registry regarding a proposed transaction or activity. See http://kref.ky.gov/law/ for details on how to request an Advisory Opinion.
  • What’s a Filer Number? The Registry assigns a Filer Number to a candidate for each election. The Primary and the General are separate elections, meaning the finances for the Primary and the General Elections must be accounted for separately.
  • It is NEVER acceptable to use "Paid for by Candidate" as a disclaimer on print advertising purchased by the campaign. The candidate’s name must be included in the disclaimer.
  • A campaign may create a contribution card to obtain the information it must disclose about each contributor who makes cumulative contributions in excess of $100. Ask the contributor to complete the contributor card at the time the contribution is given. It is often difficult and time consuming to obtain this required information later.
  • Contributions must be attributed to the person who signed the contribution check. Two or more individuals may contribute using the same check only if each contributor signs the check and provides written documentation indicating the amount to be attributed to each contributor.
  • Mark your calendar! First quarter Election Finance Statements are due from PACs and future year candidates on March 31, 2014. To be considered timely filed, the statement must be received by the Registry by no later than April 7, 2014.
  • A campaign that receives a transfer from a prior election campaign (same candidate seeking same office) reports the transferred funds on Receipts Schedule 1A as "Other Receipts" (column 4b).
  • NOTICE – April 15, 2014 is the final deadline for filing of Financial Disclosure Reports (FDRs) from all Justices and Judges of the Court of Justice, Commonwealth's attorneys, all candidates for these offices, and persons appointed to a complete and unexpired term of any of these offices.
  • An "in-kind contribution" includes goods, discounts or services valued at more than $100 furnished to a candidate, slate of candidates or committee without charge or at a rate which is less than the rate normally charged for the goods or services. The campaign is responsible for reporting the in-kind contribution on the Election Finance Statement.
  • Attention candidates and campaign committees! The 32 Day Pre Election Finance Statement (due from candidates who either elected to spend or have actually spent more than $3,000 in the 2014 primary) must be received by the Registry by no later than April 23, 2013 to be timely filed.
  • Candidates are required to file a signed original of the Election Finance Statement with the Registry and a duplicate copy of the Election Finance Statement with the county clerk of the county in which the candidate resides.
  • Attention candidates and campaign committees! The 15 Day Pre Election Finance Statement (due from candidates who either elected to spend or have actually spent more than $3,000 in the 2014 primary) must be received by the Registry by no later than April 23, 2013 to be timely filed.
  • Accountability matters. In the event a treasurer resigns or is removed from a candidate’s campaign, the candidate shall be accountable as the campaign’s treasurer if no replacement treasurer is named within three (3) days.
  • For "cash" receipts, the campaign must have a record of the cash contribution by name of the contributor, date, and amount. By contrast, anonymous receipts are any contributions the campaign receives which cannot be attributed to a specific contributor. The cash contribution limit is fifty dollars ($50) per person per election.
  • Election Finance Statements must still be filed even if there is no campaign activity in a reporting period.
  • An Unauthorized Campaign Committee is a campaign committee consisting of one (1) or more persons (including corporations) who receive contributions and make expenditures to support or oppose one (1) or more specific candidates or slate of candidates for nomination or election to state, county, city, or district office without the authorization of any candidate or slate of candidates. The name of a candidate or slate of candidates may not be included in the name of an Unauthorized Campaign Committee.
  • Attention Primary Winners: The deadline for a Candidate to designate or rescind his or her spending option for the 2014 General Election is June 16, 2014 (see KREF Form 001, Section 4).
  • A campaign that transfers unexpended funds to a future election (such as from a primary to a general election campaign) will show the disbursement to the future election on Itemized Disbursements - Schedule 2.
  • Attention executive committees, caucus campaign committees, candidates raising/spending more than $1,000, and all campaign committees! The 30 Day Post Election Finance Statement must be received by June 24, 2013 to be timely filed.
  • Check your calendar! Second quarter Election Finance Statements are due from PACs and future year candidates on June 30, 2014. To be considered timely filed, the statement must be received by the Registry by no later than July 7, 2014.
  • Candidates with funds on hand or unpaid debt from a campaign must continue to file supplemental Election Finance Statements following an election, regardless of the candidate’s win/loss status.
  • While a candidate may use campaign funds to purchase admission tickets valued at $100 or less to another candidate’s event, contributions from one candidate’s campaign to another candidate’s campaign are prohibited.
  • Notice to candidates with funds on hand or unpaid debt from the 2014 primary: the 60 Day Post Election Finance Statement for the 2014 primary must be filed with the Registry by no later than July 24, 2014 to be considered timely filed.
  • Political campaigns and committees are not  charitable organizations. While the use of a "raffle" to collect campaign contributions is not directly addressed by Kentucky’s campaign finance law, a "raffle" is a form of "charitable gaming" regulated by the Department of Charitable Gaming. Under current Kentucky law, charitable gaming can only be conducted to benefit common schools or organizations that qualify as charitable organizations under the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Kentucky’s campaign finance law does not prohibit or otherwise address the issue of whether a judge or judicial candidate may solicit campaign contributions.
  • Check spending options now! The deadline for a Candidates exempt from the 2014 Primary to designate or rescind his or her spending option (see KREF Form 001, Section 4) for the 2014 General Election is August 27, 2014.
  • If a candidate, slate of candidates, or anyone on behalf of the campaign receives a contribution prohibited by the campaign finance law, the candidate, slate of candidates, or committee must refund the contribution within thirty (30) days from the date the contribution is deposited in the campaign account to avoid a violation for accepting the prohibited contribution.
  • Kentucky’s Constitution prohibits corporations from making contributions to candidates. However, corporations may now make unlimited independent expenditures due to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. By definition, independent expenditures must not   be coordinated with a candidate or candidate campaign committee.
  • An independent expenditure is the expenditure of money or other things of value to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or slate of candidates without the candidate or slate’s campaign, or any authorized person acting on behalf of the campaign, having any prior knowledge of the activity.
  • There is no limit on independent expenditures; however, an "Independent Expenditure Report" must be completed and forwarded to the Registry by the person making the independent expenditure when the aggregate amount of the independent expenditure exceeds $500 in any one election.
  • Electronic filers - check your Registry approved electronic filing software version now to make sure it is current. Your software vendor will periodically release newer versions of the software. It is essential that you use the latest version of the software at the time you submit your electronic reports.
  • Mark your calendar! Third quarter Election Finance Statements are due from PACs and future year candidates on September 30, 2014. To be timely filed, the statement must be received by the Registry by no later than October 6, 2014.
  • Candidates for county, city, or school board public offices may increase their spending option (see KREF Form 001, Section 4) for an election at any time, but then must file all applicable Election Finance Statements for the increased spending option or be subject to monetary penalties for late filing of reports.
  • Attention candidates! The 32 Day Pre Election Finance Statement (due from 2014 general election candidates who either elected to spend or have actually spent more than $3,000) must be received by the Registry by no later than October 8, 2014 to be timely filed.
  • For each Election Finance Statement, the beginning balance of the current statement must be the same as the ending balance of the prior statement.
  • Attention candidates! The 15 Day Pre Election Finance Statement (due from 2014 general election candidates who either elected to spend or have actually spent more than $3,000) must be received by the Registry by no later than October 27, 2014 to be timely filed.
  • By law, it is the treasurer’s duty to make or authorize all expenditures on behalf of the campaign and only from funds which have first been deposited into the campaign account.
  • All payments to persons transporting voters on election day must be made by check, regardless of the amount paid. The campaign must pay each person directly and individually who transports voters. Lump sum payments to third parties for distribution to transporters are not acceptable. Each person paid for transporting voters to the polls must be reported by name, address, and occupation as a disbursement.
  • Annual Election Finance Statements are due November 11. There is NO grace period for this report. As state government offices are closed on November 11, to be timely filed, the statement must be filed with the Registry by no later than November 12, 2014.
  • No disbursement should be made by a campaign treasurer without an invoice or receipt provided by the person to whom the payment is to be made. The invoices and receipts are to be maintained by the treasurer and made available for reasonable inspection and auditing by the Registry.
  • An Election Finance Statement is incomplete if it fails to include debts the campaign is obligated to pay but, for whatever reason, has not paid as of the date the Election Finance Statement is filed.
  • When the campaign is over, the campaign account balance must equal zero (-0-) in order to terminate the campaign’s reporting requirements. When the campaign is over and the account balance is -0-, the campaign treasurer should check box 6.g. for "Termination" on the Election Finance Statement cover sheet.
  • Attention executive committees, caucus campaign committees, candidates raising/spending more than $1,000, and all campaign committees! The 30 Day Post Election Finance Statement must be received by December 9, 2013 to be timely filed.
  • Yard signs or other printed advertising purchased by a prior campaign may be used by subsequent campaigns. The subsequent campaign will report the items as an in-kind contribution from the candidate.
  • Mark your calendar! Fourth quarter Election Finance Statements are due from PACs and future year candidates on December 31, 2014. To be considered timely filed, the statement must be received by the Registry by no later than January 5, 2015.
  • Continue to be diligent. A campaign treasurer is required to maintain the campaign’s records for a period of six (6) years from the date of the campaign’s last Election Finance Statement filed with the Registry and remain subject to Registry audit, regardless of the candidate’s chosen spending option or actual spending.
  • Continue to be diligent. A campaign treasurer is required to maintain the campaign’s records for a period of six (6) years from the date of the campaign’s last Election Finance Statement filed with the Registry and remain subject to Registry audit, regardless of the candidate’s chosen spending option or actual spending.
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 Welcome

What Election Finance Does for You

The role of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance is to assure the integrity of the Commonwealth's electoral process by making certain there is full public access to campaign financial data and financial disclosure reports, and by administering Kentucky's campaign finance laws.

The Registry ensures that information reports pertinent to election campaign financing are filed on a timely basis and reviews this information for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with campaign finance laws. The Registry's regulatory function includes tracking of candidate and committee election finance activities, audit functions, investigations, review of and response to requests for advisory opinions, and adjudication of administrative charges of violations of campaign finance laws.

Under KRS Chapter 121, Kentucky's campaign finance laws apply to all candidates for office, including gubernatorial slates, judicial, statewide, legislative, city, county, and school board candidates, as well as political issue committees, permanent committees (PACs), unauthorized campaign committees, contributing organizations, inaugural committees, state and local party executive committees, and caucus campaign committees.

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Candidate Welcome Packets (by spending option)


More than $3,000

[PDF, 1.75 MB]

$3,000 or Less

[PDF, 1.76 MB]

$1,000 or Less

[PDF, 60.77 KB]
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File Your Election Finance Statement...Electronically.

House Bill 939, passed by the 2000 General Assembly, now codified in KRS Chapter 121, required the Registry to develop an Internet based electronic filing system for candidates’ campaign finance reports, and an accompanying web-based searchable database.

The Registry has implemented the electronic filing and disclosure system, and it has been operational since January 2002.

KREF's electronic filing contact is Tom Messinger. Please call Tom at (502) 573-2226 should you have any electronic filing questions.


 


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Learn More

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Search Our Database

This searchable database contains records from 1998 to present. Detailed receipt records are included in the database for candidates, political issues committees, and exploratory committees. Permanent Committee (PAC) and Executive Committee records are only presented in summary figures. The contribution records are available for download. If candidates submit financial records by using electronic filing software, the disbursement figures will also be available to download.

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Search Now

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Contact Our Staff

 

 Sarah Jackson

Executive Director

 

 Emily Dennis

General Counsel

 

 Ellen Gotshall

Paralegal

 George Baker, III

Administrative Specialist

 Sandy Gibson

Administrative Specialist

 Bonnie Harris

Administrative Specialist

 

 

 Jocelyn King

Administrative Specialist

 Kristy King

Administrative Specialist

 Melissa Stinnett

Administrative Specialist

 Tom Messinger

Systems Engineer

 Rebecca Feland

Budget Analyst

 

The offices of the Registry are located at:


140 Walnut Street
Frankfort, Kentucky
40601-3240

Phone: 502.573.2226
FAX: 502.573.5622

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
08:00am - 4:30pm ET

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