Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 9.3. Campaign Finance Disclosure Act of 2006
11/29/2021

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 24.2-945. Elections to which chapter applicable; chapter exclusive.

A. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all elections held in Virginia, including referenda, and to nominating conventions, mass meetings, and other methods to nominate a political party candidate for public office, except nominations and elections for (i) members of the United States Congress, (ii) President and Vice President of the United States, (iii) town office in a town with a population of less than 25,000, or (iv) political party committees.

The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to a candidate for a town office in a town with a population of less than 25,000 if (a) such candidate accepts contributions or makes expenditures in excess of $25,000 within the candidate's election cycle, as set forth in § 24.2-947, or (b) the governing body of any such town provides, by ordinance, that such provisions so apply.

B. This chapter shall constitute the exclusive and entire campaign finance disclosure law of the Commonwealth, and elections to which the chapter applies shall not be subject to further regulation by local law.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-251; 1972, c. 620; 1973, c. 30; 1980, c. 639; 1982, c. 650; 1993, cc. 641, 715, § 24.2-900; 2004, c. 457; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 359; 2019, c. 825; 2020, c. 772.

§ 24.2-945.1. Definitions.

A. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authorization" means express approval or express consent by the candidate, the candidate's campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee after coordination.

"Campaign committee" means the committee designated by a candidate to receive all contributions and make all expenditures for him or on his behalf in connection with his nomination or election.

"Candidate" means "candidate" as defined in § 24.2-101.

"Contribution" means money and services of any amount, in-kind contributions, and any other thing of value, given, advanced, loaned, or in any other way provided to a candidate, campaign committee, political committee, or person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or to an inaugural committee for the purpose of defraying the costs of the inauguration of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General. "Contribution" includes money, services, or things of value in any way provided by a candidate to his own campaign and the payment by the candidate of a filing fee for any party nomination method.

"Coordinated" or "coordination" refers to an expenditure that is made (i) at the express request or suggestion of a candidate, a candidate's campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee or (ii) with material involvement of the candidate, a candidate's campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee in devising the strategy, content, means of dissemination, or timing of the expenditure.

"Designated contribution" means a contribution that is designated specifically and in writing for a particular candidate or candidates and that is made using a political committee solely as a conduit.

"Expenditure" means money and services of any amount, and any other thing of value, paid, loaned, provided, or in any other way disbursed by any candidate, campaign committee, political committee, or person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or by any inaugural committee for the purpose of defraying the costs of the inauguration of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General.

"Federal political action committee" means any political action committee registered with the Federal Election Commission that makes contributions to candidates or political committees registered in Virginia.

"Inaugural committee" means any organization, person, or group of persons that anticipates receiving contributions or making expenditures, from other than publicly appropriated funds, for the inauguration of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General and related activities.

"Independent expenditure" means an expenditure made by any person, candidate campaign committee, or political committee that is not made to, controlled by, coordinated with, or made with the authorization of a candidate, his campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee. "Independent expenditure" includes an expenditure made by a candidate campaign committee (i) that is not related to the candidate's own campaign and (ii) that is not made to, controlled by, coordinated with, or made with the authorization of a different candidate, his campaign committee, or an agent of that candidate or his campaign committee.

"In-kind contribution" means the donation of goods, services, property, or other thing of value, other than money, including an expenditure controlled by, coordinated with, or made upon the authorization of a candidate, his campaign committee, or an agent of the candidate or his campaign committee, that is provided for free or less than the usual and normal charge. The basis for arriving at the dollar value of an in-kind contribution is as follows: new items are valued at retail value; used items are valued at fair market value; and services rendered are valued at the actual cost of service per hour. Services shall not be deemed to include personal services voluntarily rendered for which no compensation is asked or given.

"Out-of-state political committee" means an entity covered by § 527 of the United States Internal Revenue Code that is not registered as a political committee or candidate campaign committee in Virginia and that does not have as its primary purpose expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate. The term shall not include a federal political action committee.

"Person" means any individual or corporation, partnership, business, labor organization, membership organization, association, cooperative, or other like entity.

"Political action committee" means any organization, person, or group of persons, established or maintained to receive and expend contributions for the primary purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate. The term shall not include a campaign committee, federal political action committee, out-of-state political committee, political party committee, referendum committee, or inaugural committee.

"Political committee" means and includes any political action committee, political party committee, referendum committee, or inaugural committee. The term shall not include: (i) a federal political action committee or out-of-state political committee; (ii) a campaign committee; (iii) a political party committee exempted pursuant to § 24.2-950.1; or (iv) a person who receives no contributions from any source and whose only expenditures are made solely from his own funds and are either contributions made by him which are reportable by the recipient pursuant to this chapter or independent expenditures which are reportable by him to the extent required by § 24.2-945.2, or a combination of such reportable contributions and independent expenditures.

"Political party committee" means any state political party committee, congressional district political party committee, county or city political party committee, other election district political party committee, or organized political party group of elected officials. This definition is subject to the provisions of § 24.2-950.1.

"Primary purpose" means that 50% or more of the committee's expenditures made in the form of contributions shall be made to candidate campaign committees or political committees registered in Virginia. Administrative expenditures and the transfer of funds between affiliated or connected organizations shall not be considered in determining the committee's primary purpose. The primary purpose of the committee shall not be determined on the basis of only one report or election cycle, but over the entirety of the committee's registration.

"Referendum committee" means any organization, person, group of persons, or committee, that makes expenditures in a calendar year in excess of (i) $10,000 to advocate the passage or defeat of a statewide referendum, (ii) $5,000 to advocate the passage or defeat of a referendum being held in two or more counties and cities, or (iii) $1,000 to advocate the passage or defeat of a referendum held in a single county or city.

"Residence" means "residence" or "resident" as defined in § 24.2-101.

"Statewide office" means the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General.

B. For the purpose of applying the filing and reporting requirements of this chapter, the terms "person" and "political committee," shall not include an organization holding tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3), 501(c) (4), or 501(c) (6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code which, in providing information to voters, does not advocate or endorse the election or defeat of a particular candidate, group of candidates, or the candidates of a particular political party.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-255; 1975, c. 515, § 24.1-254.1; 1981, c. 425, § 24.1-254.2; 1983, c. 119; 1988, c. 616; 1991, cc. 9, 474, 709, § 24.1-254.3; 1993, cc. 641, 776, 921, §§ 24.2-901, 24.2-902; 1994, c. 510; 1996, cc. 405, 1042; 2004, c. 457; 2006, cc. 771, 772, 787, 805, 892, 938; 2007, cc. 246, 831; 2008, cc. 152, 289.

§ 24.2-945.2. Persons required to file independent expenditure disclosure reports; filing deadline.

A. Any person, candidate campaign committee, or political committee that makes independent expenditures, in the aggregate during an election cycle, of $1,000 or more for a statewide election or $200 or more for any other election shall maintain records and report pursuant to this chapter all such independent expenditures made for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.

B. Independent expenditure reports shall be due (i) within 24 hours of the time when the funds were expended or (ii) within 24 hours of the time when materials, as described in subsection A of this section, are published or broadcast to the public, whichever (i) or (ii) first occurs. The reports shall be filed with the State Board if the funds were expended to support or oppose a candidate for statewide office or the General Assembly or with the general registrar of the county or city in which the candidate resides if the funds were expended to support or oppose a candidate for local office. The report filed by a political action committee or political party committee shall include the information required for a statement of organization as listed in subdivisions A 1 through A 8 of § 24.2-949.2 or subdivisions 1 through 6 of § 24.2-950.2, as appropriate, unless the committee has a current statement of organization on file with the State Board.

C. Independent expenditure reports required by this section may be filed electronically pursuant to § 24.2-946.1 or in writing on a form developed by the State Board. If the report is filed in writing, the report shall be (i) received by the State Board or the general registrar, as appropriate, within 24 hours of the time when the funds were expended or (ii) transmitted to the State Board or the general registrar, as appropriate, by telephonic transmission to a facsimile device within 24 hours of the time when the funds were expended with an original copy of the report mailed to the State Board or the general registrar, as appropriate, and postmarked within 24 hours of the time when the funds were expended.

1970, c. 462, § 24.1-255; 1975, c. 515; 1981, c. 425; 1983, c. 119; 1988, c. 616; 1991, c. 9; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-910; 1996, c. 1042; 2002, c. 468; 2006, cc. 772, 787, 892, 938; 2007, cc. 331, 831; 2008, c. 825; 2015, cc. 644, 645.