Where to File Campaign Statements - Candidates

The Political Reform Act sets out specific filing requirements and locations for candidates running for state and local office. The information below provides a guide to candidates on where to file campaign statements, how to handle multiple jurisdictions and cross-filing, and information for candidates with multiple state committees.

This chart summarizes the most common filing requirements: the Forms 501 (Candidate Intention Statement), 410 (Statement of Organization), and 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement). Certain campaign activity and/or changes may trigger additional reporting requirements. 

 

Where to file the Form 501 (Candidate Intention Statement):

State Offices / Statewide offices, Legislature  

  • Electronic Filers:  Secretary of State - paper original
  • Non-Electronic Filers: Secretary of State - paper original

Multi-County Offices / Local agencies with jurisdiction in more than one county

  • County containing the largest number of registered voters in the jurisdiction - original

County Offices

  • County Election Office - original (electronic filing may be required)

City Offices

  • City Clerk - original (electronic filing may be required)

Where to file the Form 410 (Statement of Organization):

State Offices / Statewide offices, Legislature

  • Electronic Filers: Secretary of State - paper original
  • Non-Electronic Filers: Secretary of State - paper original
  • County of domicile - one copy

Multi-County Offices / Local agencies with jurisdiction in more than one county

  • Secretary of State - paper original 
  • County containing the largest number of registered voters in the jurisdiction - one copy

County Offices

  • Secretary of State - paper original
  • County Election Office - one copy

City Offices

  • Secretary of State - paper original
  • City Clerk - one copy

Where to file the Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement):

State Offices / Statewide offices, Legislature

  • Electronic Filers: Secretary of State - electronically and paper original
  • Non-Electronic Filers: Secretary of State - original and one copy 
  • County of domicile - one paper copy

Multi-County Offices / Local agencies with jurisdiction in more than one county

  • County containing the largest number of registered voters in the jurisdiction - original and one copy
  • County of domicile, if different -  one paper copy

County Offices

  • County Election Office. - original and one copy

City Offices

  • City Clerk - original and one copy

Electronic Filing

State Candidates: State candidates who raise or spend $25,000 or more are required to file electronically with the Secretary of State. Once the California Access Replacement System (CARS) system is live, all state committee filings will be done, online or electronically, with the Secretary of State.

Local Candidates: Local candidates should check with the local jurisdiction to determine if electronic filing is available or required. Once the California Access Replacement System (CARS) system is live, all local candidates who need to file the Form 410 will do so, online or electronically, with the Secretary of State.

Candidates with Multiple Committees

It is not uncommon for a candidate to establish more than one committee for elective office or a committee for other purposes. The FPPC’s Regulation 18405 sets out the filing requirements to ensure that voters in all locations have access to campaign reports. 

Multiple Jurisdictions (Cross-Filing)

When an individual is simultaneously a candidate for elective state office and elective local office, or for elective office in two different local jurisdictions, he or she must file campaign statements for all committees he or she controls with both jurisdictions on the dates the candidate is required to file semi-annual and preelection statements. The original statement should be filed with the relevant jurisdiction and a copy with the other location(s).

Example:

A San Diego city council member has an existing committee from the city council election. The council member opens another committee to run for State Assembly in a June election. Semi-annual and preelection statements required in connection with the June election are filed as follows:      

  • Assembly Committee 
    • Electronic Filers: Secretary of State only – Electronically and paper original
    • Non-Electronic Filers: Secretary of State – Original and one copy  
    • Non-Electronic Filers: City Clerk – One copy
 
  • City Council Committee
    • City Clerk – Original and one copy
    • Secretary of State – One copy (the copy must be filed electronically if the Assembly Committee is an electronic filer)

Multiple State Committees

When a candidate or elected officer controls more than one state committee (including officeholder accounts, legal defense funds, or ballot measure committees), each of the committees must file preelection statements on the dates the candidate is required to file preelection statements in connection with his or her election to office.

Example:

An Assemblymember who is running for Senate in a June election currently has the following controlled committees open: Assembly officeholder account committee, committee for Senate election, and a primarily formed ballot measure committee. All three committees must file the two preelection statements due in connection with the Senate election in June. In addition, since all three are open committees, each committee must file semi-annual statements until it terminates.

NOTE: If a candidate controls a ballot measure committee, the candidate’s election committee is not required to file pursuant to the ballot measure committee filing schedule.

For additional information see Campaign Disclosure Manual 1 (State Candidates) and Campaign Disclosure Manual 2 (Local Candidates)

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

Government Code sections 84215, 84605 and 84615

Regulation 18405

You should not rely on this webpage alone to ensure compliance with the Act. If you have any questions, you can Ask the FPPC for Advice.