On April 22, 2016, the Federal Election Commission cited three campaign committees for failing to file the 12-Day Pre-Primary Election Report required by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), for the primary elections that are being held on April 26, 2016.
As of April 21, 2016, the required disclosure report had not been received from:
- Mary Ellen Balchunis for Congress (PA-07)
- Strait for Congress (MD-04)
- Citizens to Elect Violet Staley (MD)
The pre-primary report was due on April 14, 2016, and should have included financial activity for the period January 1, 2016, through April 6, 2016. If sent by certified or registered mail, the report should have been postmarked by April 11, 2016.
Some individuals and their committees have no obligation to file reports under federal campaign finance law, even though their names may appear on state ballots. If an individual raises or spends $5,000 or less, he or she is not considered a "candidate" subject to reporting under the Act.
The Commission notified committees involved in the primary elections of their potential filing requirements on March 21, 2016. Those committees that did not file on the due date were sent notification on April 15, 2016, that their reports had not been received and that their names would be published if they did not respond within four business days.
Other political committees that support Senate and House candidates in elections, but are not authorized units of a candidate''s campaign, are also required to file quarterly reports, unless they report monthly. Those committee names are not published by the FEC.
Further Commission action against non-filers and late filers is decided on a case-by-case basis. Federal law gives the FEC broad authority to initiate enforcement actions, and the FEC has implemented an Administrative Fine program with provisions for assessing monetary penalties.