Campaign Finance FAQ


Q.Register a candidate or committee -How do I register as a candidate or committee?

A. Register with NYSBOE and appropriate county/city board(s) of elections by submitting, where applicable, CF-02, CF-03, CF-04, CF-05 and CF-16 forms. The applicable forms must be submitted by:

  • A treasurer of a political committee; or
  • A candidate with a registered authorized committee that would disclose all of the financial activity of the candidate’s campaign including all of the financial activity of the candidate; or
  • A candidate who does not have a registered authorized committee that would disclose all of the financial activity of the candidate’s campaign, including the financial activity of the candidate; or
  • A candidate who has a registered authorized committee, but chooses to have financial activity for the campaign that will not be disclosed by the authorized committee.

Note: Use these forms to register and obtain the required Filer ID# and PIN used to file electronically with NYSBOE.

Filing Reports Electronically

Q. Electronic Filing-How do I file reports electronically with NYSBOE?

A. Electronic filings may be submitted to NYSBOE by downloading the most recent version of NYSBOE’s EFS software and preparing reports:

  1. Go to the NYSBOE website at;
  2. Click [Campaign Finance] then [File Disclosure Reports]
  3. Click on the applicable Version 5.1 of NYSBOE Electronic Filing System Software;
  4. Double Click the [Electronic Filing Program icon] created on your desktop after downloading;
  5. Create a campaign financial disclosure report;
  6. Print and save the report;
  7. Submit reports to NYSBOE (via email attachment or mailing a diskette, CD or DVD); and
  8. Verify report for receipt and accuracy via the website

Q: No-Activity Report – If I have not had any campaign activity during a report period, do I need to file a report? If so, what and how do I file?

A: Yes, you still have to file. All candidates and/or registered committees are required to file January and July periodic reports until termination. Primary, General and Special Election filing requirements are triggered by candidate/committee activity. If the candidate/committee has had no activity, (i.e., receipts and/or expenditures, such as interest, dividends and bank charges) during any required reporting period, the candidate/committee is still required to file, in this instance a No-Activity Report. This report can be filed on the NYSBOE website using their Filer ID# and PIN or on paper using the Termination or Resignation Request Form/No-Activity Report Form CF-18.

Q: 24-Hour Notice – Must a 24-Hour Notice be filed when a campaign committee receives a transfer from a party or constituted committee?

A: No, 24-Hour Notices are only required for contributions or loans in excess of $1000. Transfers are not contributions or loans. They are an exchange of funds or anything of value between political committees authorized by the same candidate and taking part solely in his/her campaign, or any exchange of funds between a party or constituted committee and candidate or any of his/her authorized committees.

Q: “Bounced Checks” – How should a contribution that is returned for insufficient funds, (a “bounced” check) be reported?

A: The receipt of the check was reported on the appropriate contribution schedule (A, B, or C), which increased the committee’s balance. The returned check is then reported on Schedule M, which decreases the committee’s balance.

Q: Letters of Indebtedness/Forgiveness – Are candidates required to submit letters of indebtedness or forgiveness if they loaned their campaign money?

A: Yes, evidence of indebtedness/forgiveness must be submitted for any loans received from candidates and their family members.

Q: PayPal – How should contributions using PayPal (or another company where the recipient is charged a fee) be reported?

A: The total contribution is reported on the applicable schedule (A, B, or C), then the fee charged by PayPal would be reported on Schedule F under “Other” code with explanation (PayPal service charge/transaction fee).

Q: Report Balance – Are there any schedules that do not affect the report cash balance.

A: Schedules K, N, O, R, and D do not affect the cash balance of the report. These schedules perform a record-keeping function, can serve as a tool for filers and are informational schedules.

Q: Signatures – Can NYSBOE accept copies or facsimilies of signatures on registration or other forms?
A: No, original signatures are required. Copies of signatures, including those on faxes, PDFs, or other electronic files are not acceptable.
Q: “Paid for By” – When does a campaign have to use the term “paid for by …” in political advertisements?
A: NYS Election Law does not require attribution, where the sponsor’s or payor’s name is on any political advertisements (“paid for by”). However, if the ad refers to a federal candidate, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) does impose such a requirement. Additionally, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, radio/TV stations, and print media themselves, may impose an attribution requirement. Please consult with these appropriate federal authorities or media outlets for further information.
Q: Door Prizes – How should we report contributions given to the campaign in the form of door prizes?
A: Items contributed by individuals or businesses must be reported as in-kind (non-monetary) contributions on Schedule D. The value of in-kind contributions must be reported at fair market value. Aggregate contributions (all contributions from one contributor) greater than $99 must be itemized, reporting contributor’s name, address and any other required details.
Q: Raffles – What are the rules regarding raffles, “50-50s” or any other games of chance as to campaign fundraising?
A: Raffles, “50-50s” or any other games of chance are illegal and not allowed for campaign finance purposes under NYS Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law. For further information, contact the NYS Gaming Commission, (518) 395-5400, or the Attorney General, (518) 474-7330.
Campaign Materials

Q: Campaign Materials – What are the requirements for submitting campaign materials to NYSBOE?

A: Any filer required to file primary, general and/or special election reports must, at the same time the applicable post-election campaign financial disclosure report is due, submit copies of all the filer’s campaign materials, purchased or produced by or under the authority of the person filing the post-election report, or the committee or the person on whose behalf it is filed.

Campaign materials include all broadcast, cable or satellite schedules and scripts, internet, print and other types of advertisements, pamphlets, circulars, flyers, brochures, letterheads and other printed matter.

Submissions of campaign materials:

  • Can include duplicate originals (e.g., posters, flyers, buttons, etc.) or legible photocopies;
  • Must be hard copies, not electronic/digital files; and
  • May be photographed when, for practical purposes they cannot be readily reproduced in a paper copy because they are large, unwieldy items. (e.g., billboards, sandwich boards, etc.).
Q: Correspondence/Legal Documents – What should a treasurer/candidate do if he/she receives correspondence/legal documents from NYSBOE.
A: If you receive a letter or are served with legal documents from NYSBOE, do not ignore them. Contact NYSBOE immediately. There are significant consequences, for both treasurers and candidate, which may include penalties for failure to comply with the requirements of the NYS Election Law relating to campaign finance. Call NYSBOE at 1-800-458-3453 or (518)474-8200