State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Alaska Public Offices Commission

Alaska Department of Administration, Alaska Public Offices Commission

AO 09-15-CD

Number: AO 09-15-CD
Requested by: Alaska Republican Party
Prepared by: Jason Brandeis
Associate Attorney II
Date Issued: February 25, 2010
Subject: Request for an Advisory Opinion on whether or not the AK Republican Party may provide credit card services to ARP affiliates, districts, and campaigns.
Decision: On February 25, 2010, the Alaska Public Offices Commission heard and approved this advisory opinion request by a vote of 4 to 0, with one commission member absent.

QUESTION PRESENTED:

May the Alaska Republican Party (ARP), in accordance with AS 15.13.040 and 15.13.110, provide credit card processing services to ARP affiliates, districts, and campaigns1 using certain procedures and reporting requirements as described below?

SHORT ANSWER:

Yes, with the procedures and reporting to occur as described below.

FACTS

ARP’s Current and Planned Credit Card Processing Procedures

In e-mail correspondence with Staff, Mr. Ruedrich stated that “The ARP wants to expand its credit card processing services to districts, affiliates, and campaigns that do not have credit card processing services.”  Mr. Ruedrich provided the following facts:

  1. ARP has processed credit card vouchers for over a decade for its own credit card account.
  2. ARP has determined the cost to process credit card vouchers is 5% of the gross collected. (This represents the Party’s determination of all of the actual costs associated with the transaction and not just the credit card transaction processing fee. The 5% cost includes the direct card fee, the staff time to process cards, and follow-up costs to process rejected items.)
  3. Some ARP districts and affiliates have participated in this operation since ARP provides their accounting and banking (i.e., ARP processes their credit card payments). ARP
  4. reports their contributions and expenditures in its periodic reports to the APOC. These entities do not file their own reports with APOC. 2
  5. Other ARP districts and affiliates maintain independent records, their own bank accounts and report separately to APOC.
  6. Republican campaigns maintain independent records, separate bank accounts and register with APOC and file their own reports as required.

ARP now seeks to process credit card contributions for affiliates, districts, and campaigns that report to APOC separately from ARP (hereinafter collectively referred to as “receiving entities”) using the following steps:

  1.  The receiving entity receives contributions by credit card with proper authorizations and signatures (typically in the form of a voucher, i.e., a slip of paper containing all of the necessary information to process the card transaction: name, address, account number, security code, etc.).
  2.  The receiving entity delivers these credit card vouchers to ARP for processing.
  3.  ARP processes the credit card vouchers through ARP’s credit card account to collect the funds.
  4.  ARP distributes 95% of the gross proceeds to the receiving entity (keeping 5% of the credit card donation as a service fee for processing the credit card transaction).
  5. The receiving entity reports the gross contribution amount received from the contributor on its report to APOC.
  6. The receiving entity reports the 5% credit card processing fee as an expense paid to ARP on its report to APOC.
  7. ARP reports the 5% credit card processing fee as an expense credit from the receiving entity .

 

General Information Regarding Credit Card Processing

Credit card transactions between a contributor and a receiving entity typically involve a third party.  When a contribution is made by credit card, the contribution does not land directly in the receiving entity’s bank account.3 It must first be processed by an intermediary financial institution that recovers the funds from the contributor’s account, charges a fee to the receiving entity, and then remits the remainder into the receiving entity’s account.4

In order for a receiving entity to accept contributions by credit card, the receiving entity must take certain steps.  Generally, this involves establishing “merchant accounts” with financial institutions capable of processing credit card transactions and purchasing or renting a credit card terminal (a stand-alone piece of electronic equipment that allows a merchant to swipe a credit card or to manually key-enter a credit card's information as well as the additional information required to process a credit card transaction).


1As used in this advisory opinion, the term "campaign" refers to a campaign for the election of a candidate as defined in AS 15.13.400(1).

2 Districts 3, 5, 9, 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40 report to APOC as part of ARP’s report.  All other ARP affiliates and districts file their own reports with APOC.

3 2 AAC 50.298 specifies that monetary contributions to a candidate, group, or nongroup must be deposited into the designated campaign depository. However, the regulations are silent as to whether the contribution may be held in another account while it is processed, but before it is deposited into the campaign account.

4 Some credit card processing companies will process a transaction, deduct their fee, and then remit the net amount to the recipient. Some may remit the full payment, calculate the fee on a monthly basis, and then invoice the receiving entity.  Under either approach, as explained below, the receiving entity will report the same thing:  the full amount of the contribution and an expenditure for the processing fee.

ANALYSIS

APOC statutes and regulations do not specifically address whether a political party may provide credit card processing services for its affiliates, districts, and campaigns related to the party. But AS 15.13.040(f) provides a broad list of services that businesses and groups/parties may provide. Included in that list are accounting and professional campaign management services.  We believe that the credit card processing services described by ARP above are encompassed within the meaning of accounting and/or professional campaign management services and are therefore among the range of services a political group or party may provide to candidates, party affiliates, and party districts. However, the provision of such services by a party to affiliates and districts of that party and to candidate campaigns raises several concerns, including: (1) the commingling of assets between a campaign and a political party; (2) the contributions limits of AS 15.13.070; (3) the reasonableness of the proposed fee; and (4) the proper reporting requirements to be employed. Each concern is addressed in turn below.

  1. Commingling of Assets

     

    ARP requests approval of a process whereby receiving entities can alleviate themselves of some of the cost and time needed to process credit card transactions. In order to do this ARP will processes the credit card contributions made to districts, affiliates and campaigns that do not have their own credit card processing capabilities. By “process” the Commission understands that ARP is not technically processing the credit card payments themselves, because they are not a bank. Rather, ARP has an existing arrangement with a credit card processor and ARP will make that service available to others by using that processing bank to complete transactions for receiving entities.  This operation will involve a commingling of assets because ARP will not be able to directly deposit the credit card contributions into the receiving entity’s account without it entering ARP’s merchant account.  That is, ARP must first receive the contribution back from the processor by way of deposit in its own account, and then remit it to the receiving entity.

    All reasonable steps should be taken to keep credit card contributions made to receiving entities and processed by ARP separate from ARP’s general operating account. The Commission addressed a similar issue in AO-99-10-CD where a private company called AlaskaPolitics sought to process online credit card contributions for candidates. AlaskaPolitics’ protocol for processing these transactions included pooling all donations collected for candidates in a single merchant account separate from AlaskaPolitics’ general account and then distributing the funds to candidates within 72 hours after they were received or within 24 hours of receipt if the contribution was received within the nine days before an election. See AO-99-10-CD at 3, 6. 

    The Commission approved AlaskaPolitics’ proposal with these conditions. Id. at 7. The separation of funds and prompt transfer of contributions is even more important here because ARP is a party working to promote a specific agenda, whereas AlaskaPolitics was a private campaign business.  Id. at 4.  Accordingly, to ensure accuracy in reporting, to minimize the possibility of accounting errors, and to protect the public interest, the same protocols should be in place here: ARP must keep all funds received from processing credit card contributions for receiving entities in a separate account and remit the funds to the receiving entities in a timely manner.5

     

  2. Limitations on Contributions

     

    By operation of the processing system proposed by ARP, credit card contributions made to receiving entities will be deposited into ARP’s account, and will then be transferred to the receiving entities’ accounts.  Without additional explanation, a transfer of funds from ARP to a campaign will on its face resemble a contribution from a party to a candidate.  This is concerning in light of AS 15.13.070(d) which places limits on the amount of contributions a political party may make to a candidate.

    In this instance, the movement of funds from the party to the candidate is not a contribution as defined by AS 15.13.400(4).  The contribution is the transfer of funds from the contributor to the candidate.  ARP’s role in this transaction is to function as a business providing a financial service to receiving entities who pay for it. In this way, ARP is acting in the same capacity as AlaskaPolitics and similar protocols should be in place to ensure accountability, proper reporting, and to minimize confusion to the public.  Accordingly, each receiving entity for whom credit card processing services are provided by ARP must: (1) disclose that fact to APOC; (2) include in each report to APOC a notation identifying the credit card contributions that were processed through ARP and the check number that was issued by ARP for those contributions; and (3) appoint ARP as a deputy treasurer.  See AO-99-10-CD at 6.  Similarly, ARP must provide written notification to APOC of the receiving entities on whose behalf it will process credit card transactions as well as the name and location of the bank where ARP’s merchant accounts are held.  See id. These protocols are consistent with informal advice that APOC has previously provided.

  3. Reasonableness of Service Fee

     

    Processing banks charge a fee for each credit card transaction. Some fees are periodic, others are charged on a per-item or percentage basis.  The fees differ depending on the bank and the services rendered. For instance, online transactions incur different charges than in-person sales, and different fees apply depending on whether a transaction is made by swiping a card through a credit card terminal or if the information was keyed in manually. Fees also vary depending on the volume of transactions-- the higher volume, the lower the processing rate will be. Processing banks will also charge a monthly service fee and a minimum monthly processing fee of at least $25 (approximately). In addition to these fees, candidates will also have to purchase or rent a credit card processing terminal at a cost of several hundred dollars.

    With so many variables, it is difficult to predict the exact cost any receiving entity will incur for processing credit card contributions.  But it is clear that entities who pool their credit card donations together and process them collectively (as is requested in this matter) can expect to pay a lower processing rate. 

    Processing rates generally fall within a range of approximately 1.75% to 3.5% per transaction, or more depending on volume. Internet transactions, contributions made over the phone, or other voucher transactions that have to be hand written and entered carry a fee of at least 2.5% per transaction. These are the types of transactions involved here because the credit card information will be taken from the contributor and then sent to ARP for manual entry and processing.

    ARP suggests a static service fee of 5% of the gross contribution amount per transaction.  ARP calculated this figure based on fees charged by their processing bank, the staff time needed to process and record the payments, and any follow-up costs necessary to address rejected items.  A 5% fee is reasonable in light of the following costs a receiving entity would incur if they maintained their own credit card processing accounts:  a minimum processing fee of 2.5% per transaction, the cost of renting or purchasing a processing terminal, the costs of setting up and maintaining the required bank accounts, and the staff time needed to input and process the transactions and follow-up on any rejected card accounts. 

  4. Reporting Requirements

     

    ARP is a political party as defined by Alaska law. AS 15.13.400(15); AS 15.60.010(25).  Accordingly, ARP is subject to the reporting requirements of AS 15.13.040 and 15.13.110.  Additionally, any services ARP provides, including accounting, professional campaign consultation, or professional campaign management, must be recorded and available for inspection by the Commission pursuant to the requirements of AS 15.13.040(f).

    To comply with AS 15.13.110, ARP proposes to report their credit card processing activity in the following way:

    1. The receiving entity reports all credit card contributions on its APOC reports.
    2. The receiving entity reports 5% of the amount of each credit card contribution as a credit card processing fee expense paid to ARP on its APOC reports.
    3. ARP reports the 5% credit card processing fee as an expense credit on its APOC reports.

     

    ARP provided the following example to illustrate how this operation will work:

    • Denali Republican Women receive three credit card contributions ($50, $100, and $150).  
    • Denali Republican Women reports three contributions in full on their disclosure report.
    • The ARP would process the $300 through its own credit card account.
    • The ARP issues a net check to the Denali Republican Women in the amount of $285.
    • The ARP reports a $15 expense credit from the Denali Republican Women.
    • The Denali Republican Women report a $15 expense paid to the ARP.

    This process and reporting protocol is permissible with one exception: ARP suggests reporting the processing fee it charges as an “expense credit.”  APOC believes it is proper to record and report the fee as payment for a service rendered rather than as an expense credit.

5 The Commission is hesitant to announce a more specific set time period for ARP to remit funds to receiving entities because the Commission does not know how quickly ARP will be able to process credit card contributions.  The exact time for this process can be negotiated between ARP and the receiving entities, though the Commission suggests that it be no longer than seven days.  This was an important issue in AO-99-10-CD because the contributions were provided directly to AlaskaPolitics and candidates did not become aware of the contributions until AlaskaPolitics transferred the funds. This impacted the strict reporting requirements contained in our statutes. Here, however, the receiving entities are aware of contributions immediately after they are made, before the information is sent to ARP for processing. Thus, receiving entities will be able to promptly report all contributions without having to wait for action taken by a third party.

CONCLUSION

After incorporating the changes recommended above, the credit card processing system proposed by ARP will comply with Alaska’s campaign disclosure laws and regulations.

COMMISSION DECISION

On February 25, 2010, the Alaska Public Offices Commission heard and approved this advisory opinion request by a vote of 4 to 0, with one commission member absent.

APPLICABLE LAW:

Sec. 15.13.040. Contributions, expenditures, and supplying of services to be reported. (a) [See delayed amendment note]. Except as provided in (g) and (l) of this section, each candidate shall make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the commission,

(1) listing

(A) the date and amount of all expenditures made by the candidate;

(B) the total amount of all contributions, including all funds contributed by the candidate;

(C) the name, address, date, and amount contributed by each contributor; and

(D) for contributions in excess of $50 in the aggregate during a calendar year, the principal occupation and employer of the contributor; and

(2) filed in accordance with AS 15.13.110 and certified correct by the candidate or campaign treasurer.

(b) Each group shall make a full report upon a form prescribed by the commission, listing

(1) the name and address of each officer and director;

(2) the aggregate amount of all contributions made to it; and, for all contributions in excess of $100 in the aggregate a year, the name, address, principal occupation, and employer of the contributor, and the date and amount contributed by each contributor; for purposes of this paragraph, "contributor" means the true source of the funds, property, or services being contributed; and

(3) the date and amount of all contributions made by it and all expenditures made, incurred, or authorized by it.

(c) The report required under (b) of this section shall be filed in accordance with AS 15.13.110 and shall be certified as correct by the group's treasurer.

(d) Every individual, person, nongroup entity, or group making an expenditure shall make a full report of expenditures, upon a form prescribed by the commission, unless exempt from reporting.

(e) The report required under (d) of this section must contain the name, address, principal occupation, and employer of the individual filing the report, and an itemized list of expenditures. The report shall be filed with the commission no later than 10 days after the expenditure is made.

(f) During each year in which an election occurs, all businesses, persons, or groups that furnish any of the following services, facilities, or supplies to a candidate or group shall maintain a record of each transaction: newspapers, radio, television, advertising, advertising agency services, accounting, billboards, printing, secretarial, public opinion polls, or research and professional campaign consultation or management, media production or preparation, or computer services. Records of provision of services, facilities, or supplies shall be available for inspection by the commission.

(g) The provisions of (a) and (l) of this section do not apply to a delegate to a constitutional convention, a judge seeking judicial retention, or a candidate for election to a municipal office under AS 15.13.010 , if that delegate, judge, or candidate

(1) indicates, on a form prescribed by the commission, an intent not to raise and not to expend more than $5,000 in seeking election to office, including both the primary and general elections;

(2) accepts contributions totaling not more than $5,000 in seeking election to office, including both the primary and general elections; and

(3) makes expenditures totaling not more than $5,000 in seeking election to office, including both the primary and general elections.

(h) The provisions of (d) of this section do not apply to one or more expenditures made by an individual acting independently of any group or nongroup entity and independently of any other individual if the expenditures

(1) cumulatively do not exceed $500 during a calendar year; and

(2) are made only for billboards, signs, or printed material concerning a ballot proposition as that term is defined by AS 15.13.065(c).

(i) The permission of the owner of real or personal property to post political signs, including bumper stickers, or to use space for an event or to store campaign-related materials is not considered to be a contribution to a candidate under this chapter unless the owner customarily charges a fee or receives payment for that activity. The fact that the owner customarily charges a fee or receives payment for posting signs that are not political signs is not determinative of whether the owner customarily does so for political signs.

(j) Except as provided in (l) of this section, each nongroup entity shall make a full report in accordance with AS 15.13.110 upon a form prescribed by the commission and certified by the nongroup entity's treasurer, listing

(1) the name and address of each officer and director of the nongroup entity;

(2) the aggregate amount of all contributions made to the nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election;

(3) for all contributions described in (2) of this subsection, the name, address, date, and amount contributed by each contributor and, for all contributions described in (2) of this subsection in excess of $250 in the aggregate during a calendar year, the principal occupation and employer of the contributor; and

(4) the date and amount of all contributions made by the nongroup entity, and, except as provided for certain independent expenditures in AS 15.13.135 (a), all expenditures made, incurred, or authorized by the nongroup entity, for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election; a nongroup entity shall report contributions made to a different nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election and expenditures made on behalf of a different nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election as soon as the total contributions and expenditures to that nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election reach $500 in a year and for all subsequent contributions and expenditures to that nongroup entity in a year whenever the total contributions and expenditures to that nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election that have not been reported under this paragraph reach $500.

(k) Every individual, person, nongroup entity, or group contributing a total of $500 or more to a group organized for the principal purpose of influencing the outcome of a proposition shall report the contribution or contributions on a form prescribed by the commission not later than 30 days after the contribution that requires the contributor to report under this subsection is made. The report must include the name, address, principal occupation, and employer of the individual filing the report and the amount of the contribution, as well as the total amount of contributions made to that group by that individual, person, nongroup entity, or group during the calendar year.

 (l) Notwithstanding (a), (b), and (j) of this section, for any fund-raising activity in which contributions are in amounts or values that do not exceed $50 a person, the candidate, group, or nongroup entity shall report contributions and expenditures and supplying of services under this subsection as follows:

(1) a report under this subsection must

(A) describe the fund-raising activity;

(B) include the number of persons making contributions and the total proceeds from the activity;

(C) report all contributions made for the fund-raising activity that do not exceed $50 a person in amount or value; if a contribution for the fund-raising activity exceeds $50, the contribution shall be reported under (a), (b), and (j) of this section;

(2) for purposes of this subsection,

(A) "contribution" means a cash donation, a purchase such as the purchase of a ticket, the purchase of goods or services offered for sale at a fund-raising activity, or a donation of goods or services for the fund-raising activity;

(B) "fund-raising activity" means an activity, event, or sale of goods undertaken by a candidate, group, or nongroup entity in which contributions are $50 a person or less in amount or value.

(m) [See delayed amendment note]. Information required under this chapter shall be submitted to the commission electronically, except that the following information may be submitted in clear and legible black typeface or hand-printed in dark ink on paper in a format approved by the commission or on forms provided by the commission:

(1) information submitted by

(A) a candidate for election to a borough or city office of mayor, membership on a borough assembly, city council, or school board, or any state office, who meets the requirements of (g)(1) - (3) of this section; or

(B) a candidate for municipal office for a municipality with a population of less than 15,000; in this subparagraph, "municipal office" means the office of an elected borough or city

(i) mayor; or

(ii) assembly, council, or school board member;

(2) any information if the commission determines that circumstances warrant an exception to the electronic submission requirement.

(n) The commission shall print the forms to be provided under this chapter so that the front and back of each page have the same orientation when the page is rotated on the vertical axis of the page.

(o) Information required by this chapter that is submitted to the commission on paper and not electronically shall be electronically scanned and published on the Internet by the commission, in a format accessible to the general public, within two working days after the commission receives the information.

(p) For purposes of (b) and (j) of this section, "contributor" means the true source of the funds, property, or services being contributed (§ 1 ch 76 SLA 1974; am § 13 ch 189 SLA 1975; am § 33 ch 50 SLA 1989; am § 4 ch 126 SLA 1994; am §§ 5-7 ch 48 SLA 1996; am §§ 6, 7 ch 6 SLA 1998; am § 1 ch 74 SLA 1998; am §§ 3-6 ch 1 SLA 2002; am §§ 1-4 ch 1 TSSLA 2002; am §§ 2-7 ch 108 SLA 2003; am § 9 ch 99 SLA 2004; am §§ 1, 2 ch 155 SLA 2004; am § 3,2006 Primary Election Ballot Measure No. 1; am §§ 6 – 9 ch 47 SLA 2007; am § 1 ch 95 SLA 2008)

Delayed amendment of subsection (a). – Until January 1, 2009, subsection (a) of this section reads as follows: “(a) Except as provided in (g) and (l) of this section, each candidate shall make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the commission,

“(1) listing

“(A) the date and amount of all expenditures made by the candidate;

“(B) the total amount of all contributions, including all funds contributed by the candidate;

“(C) the name, address, date and amount contributed by each contributor; and

“(D) for contributions in excess of $250 in the aggregate during a calendar year, the principal occupation and employer of the contributor; and

“(2) filed in accordance with AS 15.13.110 and certified correct by the candidate or campaign treasurer.”

Delayed amendment of subsection (m). – Until January 1, 2009, (m) of this section reads as follows:

“(m) Information required under this chapter shall be submitted to the commission electronically, except that the following information may be submitted in clear and legible black typeface or hand-printed in dark ink on paper in a format approved by the commission or on forms provided by the commission:

“(1) information submitted by a candidate for municipal office; in this paragraph, “municipal office” means the office of an elected borough or city

“(A) mayor; or

“(B) assembly, council, or school board member;

“(2) any information if the commission determines that circumstances warrant an exception to the electronic submission requirement;

“(3) information submitted by a candidate for election to state office other than the legislature who meets the requirements of (g)(1) – (3) of this section;

“(4) information submitted before January 1, 2009, by a candidate for the legislature.”

Revisor’s notes.  – Subsection (n) was enacted as subsection (o).  Relettered in 2004, at which time former subsection (n) was relettered as subsection (o). Subsection (o) was enacted as (p) and relettered in 2007, at which time former subsection (o) was relettered as (p).

Effect of amendments. – The 1996 amendment, effective January 1, 1997, in subsection (a), added the exception at the beginning of the first sentence and made a related stylistic change; in subsection (d), in paragraph (2), added “unless exempted from reporting by (h) of this section,” and inserted “ or other periodicals” and made minor stylistic changes and added subsections (g) and (h).

The first 1998 amendment, effective June 28, 1998, rewrote paragraph (d)(1) and the second and third sentences in subsection (f).

The second 1998 amendment, effective June 4, 1998, added subsection (i).

The first 2002 amendment, effective April 16, 2002, in subsection (b) added the language beginning "for purposes of this paragraph" to the end of paragraph (2); in the introductory language of subsections (d) and (h) inserted references to nongroup entities; added subsection (j); and made a minor stylistic change.

The second 2002 amendment, effective June 26, 2002, rewrote subsection (d); in subsection (e) deleted "by the contributor" following "commission" and "contribution or" preceding "expenditure" in the second sentence and deleted the former third sentence, which read "A copy of the report shall be furnished to the candidate, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer at the time the contribution is made"; updated an internal reference in subsection (h); and added subsection (k).

The 2003 amendment, effective September 14, 2003, rewrote subsections (a) and (b); in subsection (g) inserted “and (l)” in the introductory language and substituted “$5,000” for “2,500” in three places; in paragraph (h)(1) substituted “$500” for “250”; in subsection (j) added “Except as provided in (l) of this section,” at the beginning, added the paragraph (3) and (4) designations, and rewrote paragraph (3); and added subsections (l), (m), and (o) [formerly (n), now (p)].

The first 2004 amendment, effective June 26, 2004, deleted “and principal occupation of the contributor and the” following address in paragraph (j)(3), and inserted “principal occupation and” in that paragraph.

The second 2004 amendment, effective October 1, 2004, rewrote subsection (m), and added subsection (o) [now (n)].

The 2006 amendment, effective December 17, 2006, rewrote subsection (b).

The 2007 amendment, effective July 10, 2007, substituted “to a delegate to a constitutional convention, a judge seeking judicial retention, or a candidate for election to a municipal office under As 15.13.010, if that delegate, judge, or” for “if  a” in the introductory language of subsection (g), repealed and reenacted subsection (m), and added subsection (p) [now(o)].

The 2008 amendment, effective January 1, 2009, substituted “$50” for $250” in subparagraph (a)(1)(D).

Editor's notes. – From April 16, 2002, through June 25, 2002, the reference in subsection (h) to "(d) of this section" reads "to (d)(2) of this section" and subsection (d) reads as follows: "(d) Every individual, person, nongroup entity, or group making a contribution or expenditure shall make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the commission, of

"(1) contributions made to a candidate or group and expenditures made on behalf of a candidate or group

"(A) as soon as the total contributions and expenditures to that candidate or group reaches $500 in a year; and

"(B) for all subsequent contributions and expenditures to that candidate or group that have not been reported under this paragraph reaches $500;

"(2) unless exempted from reporting by (h) of this section, any expenditure whatsoever for advertising in newspapers or other periodicals, on radio, or on television; or for publication, distribution, or circulation of brochures, flyers, or other campaign material for any candidate or ballot proposition or question."

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Constitutionality. – In the case of First Nat’l Bank v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707, rehearing denied, 438 U.S. 907, 98 S. Ct. 3126, 57 L. Ed. 2d 1150 (1978), the supreme court of the United States has indicated in unmistakable terms that state disclosure laws pertaining to ballot issues are constitutional. Messerli v. State, 626 P.2d 81 (Alaska 1980).

When there is no showing that an individual must remain anonymous with respect to advertising as to ballot propositions because of the possibility of being subject to reprisals, economic or otherwise, the state campaign disclosure laws are not unconstitutional as applied to a contributor hoping to influence the outcome of a ballot issue, because the objective of an informed electorate is sufficiently compelling to overcome an interest in anonymous political expression.  Messerli v. State, 626 P.2d 81 (Alaska 1980).

The disclosure requirements of this chapter are not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad, nor do they violate the constitutional right of the people to privacy.  VECO Int’l, Inc. v. Alaska Pub. Offices Comm’n, 753 P.2d 703 (Alaska 1988), appeal dismissed, 488 U.S. 919, 109 S. Ct. 298, 102 L. Ed. 2d 317 (1988).

Reporting provisions of this section and AS 15.13.074(i), 15.13.082(b), 15.13.110, and 15.13.135(a) survive strict scrutiny because the state’s interest in regulating campaign contributions and expenditures is significant and the requirements are not particularly onerous. Alaska Right to Life Comm. v. Miles, 441 F.3rd 773 (9th Cir. 2006).

Cited in Libertarian Party of Alaska, Inc. v. State, 101 P.3rd 616 (Alaska 2004).

 

Sec. 15.13.070. Limitations on amount of political contributions. (a) An individual or group may make contributions, subject only to the limitations of this chapter and AS 24.45, including the limitations on the maximum amounts set out in this section.

(b) An individual may contribute not more than

(1) $500 per year to a nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate, to a candidate, to an individual who conducts a write-in campaign as a candidate, or to a group that is not a political party;

(2) $5,000 per year to a political party.

(c) A group that is not a political party may contribute not more than $1,000 per year

(1) to a candidate, or to an individual who conducts a write-in campaign as a candidate;

(2) to another group, to a nongroup entity, or to a political party.

(d) A political party may contribute to a candidate, or to an individual who conducts a write-in campaign, for the following offices an amount not to exceed

(1) $100,000 per year, if the election is for governor or lieutenant governor;

(2) $15,000 per year, if the election is for the state senate;

(3) $10,000 per year, if the election is for the state house of representatives; and

 (4) $5,000 per year, if the election is for

(A) delegate to a constitutional convention;

(B) judge seeking retention; or

(C) municipal office.

(e) This section does not prohibit a candidate from using up to a total of $1,000 from campaign contributions in a year to pay the cost of

(1) attendance by a candidate or guests of the candidate at an event or other function sponsored by a political party or by a subordinate unit of a political party;

(2) membership in a political party, subordinate unit of a political party, or other entity within a political party, or subscription to a publication from a political party; or

(3) co-sponsorship of an event or other function sponsored by a political party or by a subordinate unit of a political party.

(f) A nongroup entity may contribute not more than $1,000 a year to another nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate, to a candidate, to an individual who conducts a write-in campaign as a candidate, to a group, or to a political party. (§ 1 ch 76 SLA 1974; am §§ 20, 21 ch 189 SLA 1975; am § 45 ch 85 SLA 1986; am § 10 ch 48 SLA 1996; am § 2 ch 74 SLA 1998; am §§ 9-11 ch 1 SLA 2002; am § 2 ch 3 SLA 2002; am §§ 8-10 ch 108 SLA 2003; am §§ 1, 2, 2006 Primary Election Ballot Measure No. 1)

Cross references. – For prohibition against certain campaign fund-raising by legislators, see AS 24.60.030.

Effect of amendments. – The 1996 amendment, effective January 1, 1997, rewrote this section.

The 1998 amendment, effective June 4, 1998, added subsection (e).

The first 2002 amendment, effective April 16, 2002, in subsection (b) inserted the language beginning “to a nongroup” and ending “of a candidate” in paragraph (1); in subsection (c) inserted “, a nongroup entity,” in paragraph (2); and added subsection (f).

The second 2002 amendment, effective April 16, 2002, in subsection (b) added “for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate or candidates” at the end of paragraph (2).

The 2003 amendment, effective September 14, 2003, increased the allowed contributions in subsections (b), (c), and (f) and made stylistic changes.

The 2006 amendment effective December 17, 2006 rewrote subsections (b) and (c).

Opinions of attorney general.  – There seems to be no difference between § 608(c) of the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971, former 18 U.S.C. § 608(c), and subsection (f) of this section; accordingly, based on the reasons stated in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 96 S. Ct. 612, 46 L. Ed. 2d 659 (1976), for finding unconstitutional § 608(c) of the federal act, subsection (f) of this section is invalid as a violation of the rights and privileges protected by the 1st amendment.  May 13, 1976 Op. Att’y Gen (decided prior to the 1986 repeal of subsection (f)).

The Public Offices Commission should not undertake investigations of violations of subsection (f) of this section, and candidates or others may be advised that no implementation or enforcement of subsection (f) of this section is planned by the office of the attorney general.  May 13, 1976 Op. Att’y Gen. (decided prior to the 1986 repeal of subsection (f)).

The $1000 statutory limit under this section is applicable to “control groups” under former AS 15.13.130(4).  Exempting such groups from the contribution limit would seriously undermine the statute’s primary purpose of deterring the buying of elections and the undue influence of large contributors.  June 15, 1987, Op. Att’y Gen.

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Constitutionality.  – The $500 limitation on individual contributions for electoral campaigns in Alaska set forth in subsection (b) is justified by evidence that contribution limits do not place a substantial burden on the ability of candidates to run competitive local or state election campaigns.  State v. Alaska Civil Liberties Union, 978 P.2d 597 (Alaska 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1153, 120 S. Ct. 1156, 145 L. Ed. 2d 1069 (2000).

Limits on individuals’ contributions to groups and political parties are reasonable; preventing individuals from channeling their contributions through a group or a party, and thus avoiding the limit on individuals’ contributions to candidates, is a valid purpose.  State v. Alaska Civil Liberties Union, 978 P.2d 597 (Alaska 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1153, 120 S. Ct. 1156, 145 L. Ed. 2d 1069 (2000).

The limitation in subsection (c), that a “group” that is not a political party may not contribute more than $1000 per year to a candidate, another group, or a political party, is reasonable.  State v. Alaska Civil Liberties Union, 978 P.2d 597 (Alaska 1999), cert. denied, U.S. 1153, 120 S. Ct. 1156, 145 L. Ed. 2d 1069 (2000).

The graduated limits for political parties’ contributions to candidates set forth in subsection (d) serve the State’s legitimate governmental interest, and are upheld. State v. Alaska Civil Liberties Union, 978 P.2d 597 (Alaska 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1153, 120 S. Ct. 1156, 145 L. Ed. 2d 1069 (2000).

The limitations in former AS 15.13.070(b)(2) on individuals’ soft money contributions to political parties were constitutional under the First Amendment.  Jacobus v. Alaska, 338 F.3d 1095 (9th Cir. 2003)

Implementation by regulations. – Alaska Admin. Code tit. 2 § 50.327, which was legally promulgated and requires that political parties report soft money contributions and expenditures, implements the Campaign Disclosure Act.  Libertarian Party of Alaska, Inc. v. State, 101 P.3d 616 (Alaska 2004).

Applied in Vogler v. Miller, 660 P.2d 1192 (Alaska 1983).

Cited in State, Alaska Pub. Offices Comm’n v. Marshall, 633 P.2d 227 (Alaska 1981).

Collateral references. – Power of corporation to make political contribution or expenditure under state law. 79 ALR3d 491.

State regulation of the giving or making of political contributions or expenditures by private individuals.  94 ALR3d 944.

 

Sec. 15.13.110. Filing of reports. (a) Each candidate, group, and nongroup entity shall make a full report in accordance with AS 15.13.040 for the period ending three days before the due date of the report and beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report. If the report is a first report, it must cover the period from the beginning of the campaign to the date three days before the due date of the report. If the report is a report due February 15, it must cover the period beginning on the last day covered by the most recent previous report or on the day that the campaign started, whichever is later, and ending on February 1 of that year. The report shall be filed

(1) 30 days before the election; however, this report is not required if the deadline for filing a nominating petition or declaration of candidacy is within 30 days of the election;

(2) one week before the election;

(3) 105 days after a special election; and

(4) February 15 for expenditures made and contributions received that were not reported previously, including, if applicable, all amounts expended from a public office expense term account established under AS 15.13.116(a)(8) and all amounts expended from a municipal office account under AS 15.13.116 (a)(9), or when expenditures were not made or contributions were not received during the previous year.

(b) Each contribution that exceeds $250 and that is made within nine days of the election shall be reported to the commission by date, amount, and contributor within 24 hours of receipt by the candidate, group, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer. Each contribution to a nongroup entity for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election that exceeds $250 and that is made within nine days of the election shall be reported to the commission by date, amount, and contributor within 24 hours of receipt by the nongroup entity.

(c) All reports required by this chapter shall be filed with the commission's central office and shall be kept open to public inspection. Within 30 days after each election, the commission shall prepare a summary of each report which shall be made available to the public at cost upon request. Each summary shall use uniform categories of reporting.

(d) [Repealed, Sec. 35 ch 126 SLA 1994].

(e) A group formed to sponsor an initiative, a referendum or a recall shall report 30 days after its first filing with the lieutenant governor. Thereafter each group shall report within 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter on the contributions received and expenditures made during the preceding calendar quarter until reports are due under (a) of this section.

(f) During the year in which the election is scheduled, each of the following shall file the campaign disclosure reports in the manner and at the times required by this section:

(1) a person who, under the regulations adopted by the commission to implement AS 15.13.100 , indicates an intention to become a candidate for elective state executive or legislative office;

(2) a person who has filed a nominating petition under AS 15.25.140 - 15.25.200 to become a candidate at the general election for elective state executive or legislative office;

(3) a person who campaigns as a write-in candidate for elective state executive or legislative office at the general election; and

(4) a group or nongroup entity that receives contributions or makes expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to a person described in (1) - (3) of this subsection, except as provided for certain independent expenditures by nongroup entities in AS 15.13.135 (a). (§ 1 ch 76 SLA 1974; am § 24 ch 189 SLA 1975; am § 2 ch 133 SLA 1977; am §§ 1, 2 ch 49 SLA 1993; am §35 ch 126 SLA 1994; am § 2 ch 59 SLA 1995; am § 13 ch 30 SLA 1996; am §§ 16-18 ch 48 SLA 1996; am § 6 ch 74 SLA 1998; am § 2 ch 103 SLA 2001; am §§ 20-22 ch 1 SLA 2002; am § 14 ch 108 SLA 2003; am § 10 ch 99 SLA 2004)

Cross references. – For legislative purpose in enacting subsection (f), see § 1, ch. 59, SLA 1995 in the Temporary and Special Acts.

Effect of amendments. – The 1995 amendment, effective August 29, 1995, added subsection (f).

The second 1996 amendment, effective January 1, 1997, in subsection (a), inserted “, including, if applicable, all amounts expended from a legislative office account established under AS 15.13.116(a)(9) and all amounts expended from a municipal office account under AS 15.13.116(a)(10),” rewrote subsection (b), and, in subsection (c), deleted the former first sentence which read “the reports of candidates shall be filed with the commission’s central office” and inserted “shall be filed with the commission’s central office and.”

The 1998 amendment, effective June 4, 1998, substituted “a public office expense term account” for “a legislative office account” and made two section reference substitutions in paragraph (a)(4).

The 2001 amendment, effective July 14, 2001, substituted "general election" for "primary election" in paragraph (f)(2).

The 2002 amendment, effective April 16, 2002, in subsection (a) and paragraph (f)(4) inserted references to nongroup entities; in subsection (b) added the second sentence; in paragraph (f)(4) added the exception at the end; and made a stylistic change.

The 2003 amendment, effective September 14, 2003, in subsection (a) substituted "must" for "shall" in two places and "on February 1 of that year" for "on December 31 of the prior year" at the end of the next-to-last sentence in the introductory language, rewrote paragraph (3), which read "10 days after the election; and," and in paragraph (4) substituted "reported previously" for "reported during the previous year."

The 2004 amendment, effective June 26, 2004 substituted “general” for “primary” in paragraph (f)(2).

Editor’s notes. – Under § 4, ch. 59, SLA 1995, the provisions of (f)(1) of this section “are intended to apply to a person who indicates an intention to become a candidate for elective state executive or legislative office under a letter of intent authorized by 2 AAC 50.380 and who makes or incurs campaign expenditures by initiating early campaigning for the office.”

NOTES TO DECISIONS

Disclosure requirements constitutional. – The disclosure requirements of this chapter are not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad, nor do they violate the constitutional right of the people to privacy.  VECO Int’l, Inc. v. Alaska Pub. Offices Comm’n, 753, P.2d 703 (Alaska 1988), appeal dismissed, 488 U.S. 919, 109 S. Ct. 298, 102 L. Ed. 2d 317 (1988).

Stated in State, Alaska Pub. Offices Comm’n v. Marshall, 633, P.2d 227 (Alaska 1981).

 

Sec. 15.13.400. Definitions. In this chapter,

(1) "candidate"

(A) means an individual who files for election to the state legislature, for governor, for lieutenant governor, for municipal office, for retention in judicial office, or for

constitutional convention delegate, or who campaigns as a write-in candidate for any of these offices; and

(B) when used in a provision of this chapter that limits or prohibits the donation, solicitation, or acceptance of campaign contributions, or limits or prohibits an expenditure, includes

(i) a candidate's campaign treasurer and a deputy campaign treasurer;

(ii) a member of the candidate's immediate family;

(iii) a person acting as agent for the candidate;

(iv) the candidate's campaign committee; and

(v) a group that makes expenditures or receives contributions with the authorization or consent, express or implied, or under the control, direct or indirect, of the candidate;

(2) "commission" means the Alaska Public Offices Commission;

(3) "communication" means an announcement or advertisement disseminated through print or broadcast media, including radio, television, cable, and satellite, the Internet, or through a mass mailing, excluding those placed by an individual or nongroup entity and costing $500 or less and those that do not directly or indirectly identify a candidate or proposition, as that term is defined in AS 15.13.065(c);

(4) "contribution"

(A) means a purchase, payment, promise or obligation to pay, loan or loan guarantee, deposit or gift of money, goods, or services for which charge is ordinarily made and that is made for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate, and in AS 15.13.010(b) for the purpose of influencing a ballot proposition or question, including the payment by a person other than a candidate or political party, or compensation for the personal services of another person, that are rendered to the candidate or political party;

(B) does not include

(i) services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a political party, candidate, or ballot proposition or question;

(ii) ordinary hospitality in a home;

(iii) two or fewer mass mailings before each election by each political party describing the party's slate of candidates for election, which may include photographs, biographies, and information about the party's candidates;

(iv) the results of a poll limited to issues and not mentioning any candidate, unless the poll was requested by or designed primarily to benefit the candidate;

(v) any communication in the form of a newsletter from a legislator to the legislator's constituents, except a communication expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or a newsletter or material in a newsletter that is clearly only for the private benefit of a legislator or a legislative employee; or

(vi) a fundraising list provided without compensation by one candidate or political party to a candidate or political party;

(5) "electioneering communication" means a communication that

(A) directly or indirectly identifies a candidate;

(B) addresses an issue of national, state, or local political importance and attributes a position on that issue to the candidate identified; and

(C) occurs within the 30 days preceding a general or municipal election;

(6) "expenditure"

(A) means a purchase or a transfer of money or anything of value, or promise or agreement to purchase or transfer money or anything of value, incurred or made for the purpose of

(i) influencing the nomination or election of a candidate or of any individual who files for nomination at a later date and becomes a candidate;

(ii) use by a political party;

(iii) the payment by a person other than a candidate or political party of compensation for the personal services of another person that are rendered to a candidate or political party; or

(iv) influencing the outcome of a ballot proposition or question;

(B) does not include a candidate's filing fee or the cost of preparing reports and statements required by this chapter;

(C) includes an express communication and an electioneering communication, but does not include an issues communication;

(7) "express communication" means a communication that, when read as a whole and with limited reference to outside events, is susceptible of no other reasonable interpretation but as an exhortation to vote for or against a specific candidate;

(8) "group" means

(A) every state and regional executive committee of a political party; and

(B) any combination of two or more individuals acting jointly who organize for the principal purpose of influencing the outcome of one or more elections and who take action the major purpose of which is to influence the outcome of an election; a group that makes expenditures or receives contributions with the authorization or consent, express or implied, or under the control, direct or indirect, of a candidate shall be considered to be controlled by that candidate; a group whose major purpose is to further the nomination, election, or candidacy of only one individual, or intends to expend more than 50 percent of its money on a single candidate, shall be considered to be controlled by that candidate and its actions done with the candidate's knowledge and consent unless, within 10 days from the date the candidate learns of the existence of the group the candidate files with the commission, on a form provided by the commission, an affidavit that the group is operating without the candidate's control; a group organized for more than one year preceding an election and endorsing candidates for more than one office or more than one political party is presumed not to be controlled by a candidate; however, a group that contributes more than 50 percent of its money to or on behalf of one candidate shall be considered to support only one candidate for purposes of AS 15.13.070 , whether or not control of the group has been disclaimed by the candidate;

(9) "immediate family" means the spouse, parents, children, including a stepchild and an adoptive child, and siblings of an individual;

(10) "independent expenditure" means an expenditure that is made without the direct or indirect consultation or cooperation with, or at the suggestion or the request of, or with the prior consent of, a candidate, a candidate's campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer, or another person acting as a principal or agent of the candidate;

(11) "individual" means a natural person;

(12) "issues communication" means a communication that

(A) directly or indirectly identifies a candidate; and

(B) addresses an issue of national, state, or local political importance and does not support or oppose a candidate for election to public office.

(13) "nongroup entity" means a person, other than an individual, that takes action the major purpose of which is to influence the outcome of an election, and that

(A) cannot participate in business activities;

(B) does not have shareholders who have a claim on corporate earnings; and

(C) is independent from the influence of business corporations.

(14) "person" has the meaning given in AS 01.10.060 , and includes a labor union, nongroup entity, and a group;

(15) "political party" means any group that is a political party under AS 15.60.010 and any subordinate unit of that group if, consistent with the rules or bylaws of the political party, the unit conducts or supports campaign operations in a municipality, neighborhood, house district, or precinct;

(16) "publicly funded entity" means a person, other than an individual, that receives half or more of the money on which it operates during a calendar year from government, including a public corporation  (§ 24 ch 48 SLA 1996; am § 39 ch 21 SLA 2000; am §§25, 26 ch 1 SLA 2002; am § 7 ch 3 SLA 2002; am §§ 8, 9 ch 1 TSSLA 2002; am §§ 18, 19 ch 108 SLA 2003; am § 2 ch 90 SLA 2006)

Revisor's notes – Paragraph (13) was enacted as (12) and paragraphs (3), (5), (7), and (12) were enacted as (13) – (16). Renumbered in 2002 to retain alphabetical order.

Effect of amendments. – The 2000 amendment, effective April 28, 2000, substituted “house district” for “election district” in subparagraph (10)(B).

The first 2002 amendment, effective April 16, 2002, added paragraph (13) and in paragraph (14) inserted ", nongroup entity."

The second 2002 amendment, effective April 16, 2002, in subparagraph (4)(b), in (I) inserted "political party, " and deleted ", but it does include professional services volunteered by individuals for which they ordinarily would be paid a fee or wage;" from the end; deleted former item (ii), which read "services provided by an accountant or other person to prepare reports and statements required by this chapter; redesignated former item (iii) as item (ii); added present items (iii) to (v); and made a stylistic change.

The third 2002 amendment, effective June 26, 2002, added subparagraph (6)(C) and paragraphs (3), (5), (7) and (12).

The 2003 amendment, effective September 14, 2003, rewrote paragraphs (7) and (15).

The 2006 amendment, effective October 11, 2006, added subparagraph (4)(B)(iv) and made related stylistic changes.

Opinions of attorney general. – The statutory limit under AS 15.13.070(a) is applicable to “control groups” under former AS 15.13.130.  Exempting such groups from the contribution limit would seriously undermine the statute’s primary purpose of deterring the buying of elections and undue influence of large contributors.  June 15, 1987, Op. Att’y Gen.

NOTES TO DECISION

Constitutionality. – Under the First Amendment, former AS 15.13.400(3)(B)(i) was unconstitutional to the extend that it limited the volunteering of professional services by individuals, but the statute was constitutional as to the ban on the provision of volunteer services by corporations.  Jacobus v. Alaska, 338 F.3d 1095 (9th Cir. 2003).

Alaska’s campaign finance law, AS 15.13.030 et seq., does not violate pro-life association’s First Amendment rights because this section’s definition of “electioneering communication” is not unconstitutionally vague or over broad either facially or as applied, and the reporting and disclosure provisions are reasonable and serve a significant state interest.  Alaska Right to Life Comm.v. Miles, 441 F3d 773 (9th Cir. 2006).

Applied in Jacobus v. Alaska, 182 F. Supp. 2d 893 (D. Alaska 2001).

Quoted in State v. Alaska Civil Liberties Union, 978 P.2d 597 (Alaska 1999), cert. denied, U.S., 120 S. Ct. 1156, 145 L. Ed. 2d 1069 (2000).

Cited in Libertarian Party of Alaska, Inc. v. State, 101 P.3d 616 (Alaska 2004).

 

AS 15.60.010. Definitions.

In this title, unless the context otherwise requires,

(1) "absentee voting official" means a person appointed to serve as an absentee voting official in accordance with AS 15.20.045 ;

(2) "ballot" means any document provided by the director on which votes may be cast for candidates, propositions, or questions;

(3) "director" means the director of elections who is the chief elections officer of the state appointed in accordance with AS 15.10.105(a);

(4) "division" means the division of elections created under AS 15.10.105;

(5) "election board" means the board appointed in accordance with AS 15.10.120;

(6) "election official" means election board members, members of counting or review boards, employees of the division of elections, and absentee voting officials;

(7) "electronically generated ballot" means any ballot other than a paper ballot that is physically marked by the voter using a writing instrument or a mechanical device;

(8) "federal election" means a general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting, nominating or electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice-President, presidential elector, United States senator, or United States representative;

(9) "felony involving moral turpitude" includes those crimes that are immoral or wrong in themselves such as murder, manslaughter, assault, sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful exploitation of a minor, robbery, extortion, coercion, kidnapping, incest, arson, burglary, theft, forgery, criminal possession of a forgery device, offering a false instrument for recording, scheme to defraud, falsifying business records, commercial bribe receiving, commercial bribery, bribery, receiving a bribe, perjury, perjury by inconsistent statements, endangering the welfare of a minor, escape, promoting contraband, interference with official proceedings, receiving a bribe by a witness or a juror, jury tampering, misconduct by a juror, tampering with physical evidence, hindering prosecution, terroristic threatening, riot, criminal possession of explosives, unlawful furnishing of explosives, promoting prostitution, criminal mischief, misconduct involving a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance, permitting an escape, promoting gambling, possession of gambling records, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography;

(10) "general election" means the election held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even-numbered years;

(11) "hand-counted ballot" means a ballot designated to be counted by hand in precincts where precinct tabulators are not available;

(12) "house district" means one of the districts described in art. VI, sec. 1, Constitution of the State of Alaska;

(13) "judicial district" means one of the districts defined in AS 22.10.010;

(14) "lieutenant governor" includes an appointed lieutenant governor, governor, or acting governor if a vacancy has occurred in the office of lieutenant governor or governor;

(15) "limited political party" means a political group which organizes for the purpose of selecting candidates for electors for President and Vice-President;

(16) "local election" means a regular or special election held by a borough, city, school district, or regional educational attendance area;

(17) "master register" means the list of all registered voters in the state which is maintained by the director of elections;

(18) "member of a political party" means a person who supports the political program of a party;

(19) "numerical identifier" means a voter's date of birth, the last four digits of a voter's social security number, a voter's Alaska driver's license number, or a voter's Alaska identification card number or voter identification number;

(20) "oath" includes affirmation;

(21) "official registration list" means the list of all voters qualified to vote at a particular election compiled in accordance with AS 15.07.125 ;

(22) "optically scanned ballot" means a paper ballot designed to be read by an optical scanning machine;

(23) "party district committee" means the political party committee that performs the executive function for a region representing an area larger than a precinct and smaller than the state;

(24) "political group" means a group of organized voters which represents a political program and which does not qualify as a political party;

(25) "political party" means an organized group of voters that represents a political program and

(A) that nominated a candidate for governor who received at least three percent of the total votes cast for governor at the preceding general election or has registered voters in the state equal in number to at least three percent of the total votes cast for governor at the preceding general election;

(B) if the office of governor was not on the ballot at the preceding general election but the office of United States senator was on that ballot, that nominated a candidate for United States senator who received at least three percent of the total votes cast for United States senator at that general election or has registered voters in the state equal in number to at least three percent of the total votes cast for United States senator at that general election; or

(C) if neither the office of governor nor the office of United States senator was on the ballot at the preceding general election, that nominated a candidate for United States representative who received at least three percent of the total votes cast for United States representative at that general election or has registered voters in the state equal in number to at least three percent of the total votes cast for United States representative at that general election;

(26) "precinct" means the territory within which resident voters may cast votes at one polling place;

(27) "precinct tabulators" means an electronic optical scanning ballot tabulation system or other tabulator designated by the director to electronically count ballots.

(28) "presidential election year" means a year in which the presidential electors are elected;

(29) "proposition" means an initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment submitted at an election to the public for vote;

(30) "qualified voter" means a person who has the qualification of a voter and is not disqualified as provided by art. V, Sec. 2, of the state constitution and AS 15.05.030 ;

(31) "question" means an issue placed on the ballot to determine whether a judge or justice shall be accepted or rejected, whether a constitutional convention shall be called, whether a state debt shall be contracted, or whether a state official shall be recalled;

(32) "registration official" includes an employee of the division of elections when performing the task of voter registration and a person appointed to serve as a registration official in accordance with AS 15.07.081 or 15.07.100;

(33) "reregistration" means the submission of a registration form by a voter whose registration was inactivated on the master register maintained under AS 15.07 and the director's reactivation of that registration in accordance with that chapter; in this paragraph, "a voter whose registration was inactivated" does not include a voter whose registration was inactivated under AS 15.07.130 and whose ballot may be counted under AS 15.15.198 ;

(34) "senate district" means one of the districts described in art. VI, sec. 2, Constitution of the State of Alaska;

(35) "signature" or "subscription" includes a mark intended as a signature or subscription;

(36) "special election" means an election held at a time other than when the general or primary election is held and an election called to be held with, and at the time of, the general or primary election;

(37) "state chairperson " or "state party chairperson" means the political party official elected as the highest ranking statewide party executive;

(38) "sworn" includes affirmed;

(39) "unconditional discharge" means that a person is released from all disability arising under a conviction and sentence, including probation and parole;

(40) "vacancy" exists in an office when the person elected or appointed to the office resigns, retires, dies, is recalled, is rejected by majority vote on the question at an election, is convicted of a corrupt practice, is removed by impeachment, or is expelled;

(41) "voter" means a person who presents oneself for the purpose of voting either in person or by absentee ballot;

(42) "voter registration agency" means an agency designated in or under AS 15.07.055 .

 

2 AAC 50.298. DESIGNATED CAMPAIGN DEPOSITORY. (a) Each candidate, group, or nongroup entity that intends to raise or spend more than $5,000 in a calendar year and each group or nongroup entity that intends to be active in more than one election shall designate on a registration statement one or more regulated banking institutions as its campaign depository or depositories. Each account name must indicate that it is a campaign account.

(b) Except as allowed in 2 AAC 50.250(a)(3)(j), all monetary contributions to and expenditures by a candidate, group, or nongroup entity required by (a) of this section to designate a campaign depository must be deposited to or made from that depository.

(c) A candidate, group, or nongroup entity required by (a) of this section to designate a campaign depository may obtain and use credit cards to make campaign expenditures for transportation, lodging, meals, and other expenses in connection with traveling for campaign purposes.  The credit card account name must indicate that it is a campaign account. (Eff. 1/1/2001, Register 156; am 2/20/2005, Register 173)

Authority:           AS 15.13.030           AS 15.13.067           AS 15.13.070            AS 15.13.050

Editor’s note:    The substance of 2 AAC 50.298 was formerly located at 2 AAC 50.319. The history note does not reflect the history of the earlier regulation.