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  • FEC Record: Reporting

Pennsylvania special election reporting: 18th district (2018)

November 16, 2017

Pennsylvania will hold a Special General Election on March 13, 2018, to fill the U.S. House seat in the 18th Congressional District vacated by Representative Tim Murphy. Under state law, parties can nominate candidates by conventions/caucuses. The Commission has exercised its discretion not to require reports in connection with those nominating conventions/caucuses.

Image showing Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district

Filing schedule for candidates

Candidate committees involved in the Special General Election must follow this reporting schedule:

Report Close of books Mailing deadline Filing deadline
Pre-General February 21, 2018 February 26, 2018 March 01, 2018
48-Hour Notices February 22 – March 10, 2018
Post-General April 02, 2018 April 12, 2018 April 12, 2018
April Quarterly WAIVED
July Quarterly June 30, 2018 July 15, 2018 July 15, 2018

Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends.

Additional details are available at

Filing schedule for PACs and party committees

That schedule also applies to PACs and party committees that file on a quarterly basis in 2018 and participate in this election. PACs and party committees that file monthly should continue to file according to their regular filing schedule.

Additional details are available in the Federal Register notice.

Filing electronically

Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by the Commission by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the applicable filing deadline. Electronic filers who instead file on paper or submit an electronic report that does not pass the Commission’s validation program by the filing deadline will be considered nonfilers and may be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative fines.

Timely filing for paper filers

Registered and certified mail. Reports sent by registered or certified mail are considered to be filed on the date of their postmark. See 52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)(5); 11 CFR 104.5(e). Accordingly, pre-election reports sent by registered or certified mail must be postmarked on or before the mailing deadline to be considered timely filed; other reports must be postmarked by the filing deadline. See 52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)(2)(A)(i), (a)(4)(A)(ii); 11 CFR 100.19(b)(1), 104.5(a)(2). A committee sending its reports by certified or registered mail should keep its mailing receipt with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark as proof of mailing because the USPS does not keep complete records of items sent by certified or registered mail. 11 CFR 104.5(i).

Overnight mail. Reports filed via overnight mail will be considered timely filed if the report is received by the delivery service on or before the mailing/filing deadline. “Overnight mail” includes Priority or Priority Express Mail having a delivery confirmation, or an overnight service with which the report is scheduled for next business day delivery and is recorded in the service’s online tracking system.

A committee sending its reports by Priority Mail or Priority Express Mail, or by an overnight delivery service, should keep its proof of mailing or other means of transmittal of its reports. 52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)(5) and 11 CFR 100.19 and 104.5(e).

Other means of filing. Reports sent by other means—including first class mail and courier— must be received by the FEC before the Commission’s close of business on the filing deadline. 11 CFR 100.19 and 104.5(e). (If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, such filers should plan accordingly and file reports by the close of business on the last business day before the filing deadline.)

Forms are available for downloading and printing at the FEC’s website at

48-hour contribution notices

A participating candidate’s principal campaign committee must file a 48-hour notice each time it receives a contribution of $1,000 or more per source from February 22 through March 10, 2018, for the Special General Election.

24- and 48-hour reports of independent expenditures

Political committees and other persons must file 24-hour reports of independent expenditures that aggregate $1,000 or more from February 22 through March 11, 2018, for the Special General Election. This requirement is addition to that of filing 48-hour reports of independent expenditures that aggregate $10,000 or more up to and including the 20th day before an election. The 48-hour reporting requirement applies to independent expenditures that aggregate at or above $10,000 prior to February 22, 2018, for the Special General Election.

Electioneering communications

The 60-day electioneering communications period in connection with the Special General Election runs from January 12 through March 13, 2018.

Disclosure of lobbyist bundling activity

Campaign committees, party committees and leadership PACs that are otherwise required to file reports in connection with the special elections must simultaneously file FEC Form 3L if they receive two or more bundled contributions from any lobbyist/registrant or lobbyist/registrant PAC that aggregate in excess of the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold during the special election reporting periods.

NOTE: The lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold for calendar year 2017 is $17,900. This threshold amount may increase in 2018 based upon the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). Once the adjusted threshold amount becomes available, the Commission will publish it in the Federal Register and post it on its website. See 11 CFR 110.17(e)(2). For more information on these requirements, see Federal Register notice 2009-03, 74 Fed. Reg. 7285 (February 17, 2009).

Relevant citations:


52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)
Filing requirements


11 CFR 100.19(b) and (c)
Timely filed reports; electronically filed reports

11 CFR 104.5
Filing dates

11 CFR 104.5(c)
Filing dates; committees that are not authorized committees of candidates

11 CFR 104.5(e)
Date of filing

11 CFR 104.5(h)
Special election reports

11 CFR 104.5(i)
Retaining proof of mailing

11 CFR 104.18(a)(2) and (e)
Mandatory electronic filing and validation program

11 CFR 104.22(a)(5)(v) and (b)
Disclosure of bundling by lobbyist/registrants and lobbyist/registrant PACs for runoffs and special elections; reporting requirement for reporting committees

11 CFR 110.17(e)(2)
Lobbyist/registrant and lobbyist/registrant PAC contribution bundling disclosure threshold


  • Author 
    • Katherine Carothers
    • Sr. Communications Specialist