Frequently Asked Questions

An individual files a Notice of Candidacy only during the official filing period to get their name on the ballot for the upcoming election. A campaign committee must be created if an individual publically announces intent to run for public office in a particular election, has received or transferred funds (or anything of value) for the purpose of running, or consented for anyone else to do so for the purpose of bringing about nomination or election to a public office.

Organization paperwork must be filed with the Board of Election office within 10 days of any of the following events:

  • Receiving or spending any money in support of your candidacy
  • Filing a Notice of Candidacy (during the filing period)
  • Making a public announcement of a definite intent to run for public office in a particular election.

You should create a name for the committee. This is the name used for printed, radio and TV political ads. Keep in mind you’ll have to use “Paid for by [committee name]” on printed advertisements and certain other media. Examples of committee names are: “John Smith for Mayor,” “Committee to Elect Jane Doe,” etc.

The form also asks for an ID Number and Candidate ID Number: this number is not available until you file. Leave blank if organizing before the filing window.

Yes. A committee must be organized even if the filing fee is your only expense. If you plan on using only your own money for the campaign (and will not accept any contributions) you may waive the requirement of opening a separate checking account—however, you still must submit the form [CRO 3500] certifying thus.

The forms are public record*. Original documents are placed in a public file in the office and, additionally, the pages are scanned and published on the Catawba County Board of Elections website.

*The Certification of Financial Account Information document is protected. Your bank account number will not be divulged to the public. Note that you must create an “Account Code” (on the Statement of Organization) which will be used on financial reports to specify which bank account is being used. Most candidates use their initials or some other short description (ex. “CHK1”) for this code.

The most recent Campaign Finance Manual is available on the state website (http://www.ncsbe.gov/Portals/0/FilesP/CFFiles/PDFCandidate_Campaign_Finance_Manual_2015.pdf). When you file for office with the local Board of Elections office, you should be given a condensed version of the manual.

No. It is required that campaign funds be maintained in a bank account that is used exclusively by the political committee. Banks may require an EIN number if you open an account in the committee’s name. The state only requires that you have an account separate from personal funds; thus, you may use an account in your name if it is used exclusively for campaign funds.

The candidate may appoint themselves or any individual that is a resident of North Carolina, with the exception of a spouse. Treasurers are responsible for maintaining all financial records of the committee. All treasurers must be trained regardless of the amount of money raised or spent during the election cycle. Training is offered in person or online. NC State Board of Elections website: http://www.ncsbe.gov/Campaign-Finance/training .

Yes. All candidates are required to open a committee. Personal funds are considered in-kind contributions from you as an individual to your campaign. When deciding whether to file over or under the $1,000 threshold, keep in mind that anything you purchase with personal funds for the campaign will count toward the $1,000.

Yes. All committees should keep accurate records of contributions and expenditures regardless of whether the committee filed over or under the threshold. In the event you go over the threshold, full disclosure of activity will be required at that time.

Loans, pledges, gifts, proceeds or sales of services, in-kind transfers, use of any supplies, office machinery, vehicles, aircraft, office space or related services, goods, or personal or real property are all contributions.

No. You cannot receive any contribution (monetary or in-kind) from a business. This includes donating items for fundraisers and free use of space normally rented. Even a discount or reduced rate on rental (above what is given to the public) would be considered an in-kind contribution—and is not allowed by businesses.

Yes. Anonymous contributions are prohibited. Example, if you sell hotdogs at $1 each, you must have the name, address, phone number, and occupation of each person who buys one and keep track of how much money they give.

No. Any contribution in excess of $50 must be made with a verifiable form of payment (i.e. check or money order).

That depends. If you are using campaign funds and the purchase is over $50, it must be made with a verifiable form of payment (check, campaign debit/credit card, etc.).

If you are using a your personal money and will donate the goods to the committee as an in-kind contribution, the purchase can be made with any form of payment.

No. All cash contributions must be tracked. No more than $50 in cash may be collected per individual per day. A suggestion to the “pass the hat” would be to provide envelopes for people to put their contribution in and provide the needed information on the envelope.

The State Board of Elections is required to evaluate the maximum contribution limitation every two years pursuant to 163-278.13 (a1). The maximum contribution limitation as of January 1, 2017 is $5,200. This amount may change in 2019.