Reporting Independent Expenditures

Any individual, business, union, organization or other person who makes independent expenditures totaling $1,000 or more supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot measure must submit a C-6 to the PDC within 5 days and then on this schedule:

  • on the 10th of the month preceding the election*
  • 21 days prior to the election*
  • 7 days prior to the election*
  • on the 10th of the month after the election*.

*Only file reports when expenditures have been made since the last report.

The exception are political committees, which report IEs on their regular expenditure reports (C-4s) unless the independent expenditure requires expedited reporting because of its size and proximity to the election.

If an IE is advertising that meets both of the following conditions, the sponsor must report it on a C-6 within 24 hours of, or on the first working day after, the date the ad was published, mailed or made public:

  • The ads are valued at $2,000 or more, and
  • are presented to the public within 21 days of an election.

Additional independent expenditure ads presented during this 21 days -- costing any amount -- must be reported on a C-6 within 24 hours of, or on the first working day after, the date the additional ad is first published, mailed or made public.

Reporting Electioneering Communication

Advertising must have all of the following four characteristics in order to qualify as an electioneering communication:

  • It clearly identifies at least one candidate for state, local or judicial office
  • It appears within 60 days of an election in the candidate's jurisdiction
  • It appears in one or more of the following media: radio, television, postal mailing, billboard, digital communication, newspaper or periodical
  • It appears either alone or in combination with other communications by the sponsor identifying the candidate, and has a fair market value of $2,000 or more

Electioneering communications must be reported within 24 hours of, or on the first working day after, the date the communication was first broadcast, mailed, erected or published.

Completing the C-6

Reporting must be done electronically. You will need to register an account if you or your organization have never previously filed a C-6.

Once signed into the filing application, choose the correct box for the activity you are reporting. If an advertising expense qualifies both as an independent expenditure and an electioneering communication, report it as an electioneering communication.

Provide sponsor's full name and U.S. mail address as well as your email address and phone number, including area code. If two or more sponsors are jointly paying for advertising, each sponsor needs to file a C-6, reporting their respective financial activity.

Itemize each payment of more than $200 associated with the advertising. "Date made" is the date the expense was first obligated.

Itemize payments made to consultants. Also show the aggregate of payments of $200 or less.

Place the sum of all expenditures in the space provided.

Also show the aggregate total of all C-6 reported expenditures made by this sponsor during this election campaign, regardless of which candidates or ballot measures were referenced in the advertising.

List all candidates and/or ballot measures identified in the advertising. Regarding candidates, identify the office and district sought (e.g. Leg. 22-House), and the party affiliation if the candidate is seeking partisan office. For both candidates and ballot measures, indicate:

  • whether the ad supports or opposes them
  • the dollar amount attributable to each; e.g. if an ad cost $12,000 and three-fourths of it related to a candidate and one-fourth to a ballot measure, attribute $9,000 to the candidate and $3,000 to the ballot measure
  • the aggregate dollar amount of all C-6 reportable expenditures during the election campaign attributable to the candidates and ballot measures identified in the ad.
Additional disclosure for electioneering communications

Some sponsors will also need to disclose funding sources. Sponsors who received funds from any source in excess of $250 for the communication must disclose information about each source. They must also show total funds received from these sources.