Campaign Finance Board Program Overview
The Board is responsible for administration of statutes governing the financial operations of associations that seek to influence Minnesota state elections. The Board's jurisdiction is established by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A.
The Board does not have jurisdiction over federal elections, which are regulated by the Federal Election Commission, nor does the Board have jurisdiction over local elections.
The sections below provide a brief overview of the campaign finance program as it applies to various types of regulated entities.
Treasurer's responsibilityEach association registered with the Board must have a treasurer. The treasurer is responsible for compliance with all applicable campaign finance laws and rules and is the person who reports to the Board. The treasurer is expected to know and understand the requirements of Chapter 10A and its associated administrative rules. The Board provides both online and live training to assist treasurers in meeting this obligation.
- Each type of association that seeks to influence Minnesota elections has a registration threshold, which is the amount of money raised or spent that requires the association to name a treasurer and to register with and report to the Board.
- The registration threshold for candidates, political party units, and general purpose committees and funds is $750. The threshold for independent expenditure committees and funds is $1,500. The threshold for ballot question committees and funds is $5,000.
Additional provisions applicable to specific types of filers
- A candidate for legislative or constitutional office may choose to file a public subsidy agreement, in which the candidate agrees to limit spending and meet other requirements in order to qualify for public subsidy payments.
- Candidates for legislative and constitutional offices must file a statement of economic interest within 14 days after filing an affidavit of candidacy in election years. The statement must be filed by these candidates even if the the candidate has not registered a principal campaign committee with the Board.
Political committees and funds
- There are three distinct types of committees and funds:
- General purpose committees and funds
- Independent expenditure committees and funds
- Ballot question committees and funds
- The registration threshold varies depending on the type of committee or fund being registered.
- There is a difference between a political committee and a political fund. To understand the difference, refer to the committee and fund handbooks, and to the quicklinks to the right on deciding what type of entity to register.
- Political party units may be organized at these levels: the state (the state party committee), legislative caucus, congressional district, county, legislative district, municipality, or precinct.
- Only a party that meets statutory requirements and is certified by the Secretary of State as a political party can have registered party units.
- Associations that may aspire to be political parties, but are not recognized as political parties by the Secretary of State, register as general purpose political committees.
- Recognized state-level party units participate in the tax checkoff portion of the public subsidy program.