About the Federal Election Commission

About the Federal Election Commission

In 1975, Congress created the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) - the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The regulation of federal campaigns emanated from a congressional judgment that our representative form of government needed protection from the corrosive influence of unlimited and undisclosed political contributions. The laws were designed to ensure that candidates in federal elections were not - or did not appear to be - beholden to a narrow group of people. Taken together, it was hoped, the laws would sustain and promote citizen confidence and participation in the democratic process.

Guided by this desire to protect the fundamental tenets of democracy, Congress created an independent regulatory agency - the FEC - to disclose campaign finance information; to enforce the limits, prohibitions and other provisions of the election law; and to administer the public funding of Presidential elections. The Commission is made up of six members, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Each member serves a six-year term; and two seats are subject to appointment every two years. By law, no more than three Commissioners can be members of the same political party, and at least four votes are required for any official Commission action. This structure was created to encourage nonpartisan decisions. The Chairmanship of the Commission rotates among the members each year, with no member serving as Chairman more than once during his or her term.

Currently, the Commission includes:


Scott E. Thomas, Chairman

Darryl R. Wold, Vice Chairman

Lee Ann Elliott

David M. Mason

Danny L. McDonald

Karl J. Sandstrom


General Counsel

Staff Director

Inspector General


The Commission's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2000

Letter to the Congress - FAIR

More information about the FEC

Back to the FEC Home Page