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New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Fair and Clean Elections Pilot Project 2007. June 2007. Clean Elections Overview. Provides public financing to participating Senate and General Assembly candidates in three selected legislative districts for the 2007 general election

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New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission

Fair and Clean Elections Pilot Project 2007

June 2007

clean elections overview
Clean Elections Overview
  • Provides public financing to participating Senate and General Assembly candidates in three selected legislative districts for the 2007 general election
  • Candidates are eligible to receive public funds by raising a minimum of 400 “qualifying contributions” up to a maximum of 800 during the qualifying period
  • Candidates are permitted to raise “seed money contributions” to finance the collection of qualifying contributions
declaration of intent
Declaration of Intent
  • Candidates are required to sign and file a Declaration of Intent to seek certification by September 28, 2007
  • Candidates must suspend all access to funds raised prior to filing the Declaration of Intent while seeking certification
  • Assembly candidates from the same district and political party must both become certified to be eligible to receive public funds
qualifying period
Qualifying Period
  • Begins April 23, 2007 and ends September 30, 2007
  • Candidates can only accept seed money and qualifying contributions during this period
  • Candidates cannot collect contributions or make expenditures for the primary election at the same event they raise seed money or qualifying contributions
seed money contributions
Seed Money Contributions
  • Contributions of $500 or less from individuals registered to vote in the State
  • Total seed money contributions may not exceed $10,000 in the aggregate
  • Candidates may use funds raised and reported prior to filing the Declaration of Intent if attributable to contributions of $500 or less from registered voters in the State
  • A form must be completed and maintained on file by the campaign for each seed money contribution collected
  • Contributions may be in the form of currency, check, money order, electronic check, debit card, or credit card
seed money contribution limit exceptions
Seed Money Contribution Limit Exceptions
  • Voluntary, non-compensated services for the purpose of collecting seed money and qualifying contributions, and the collection of signatures on petitions of nomination
  • Communications in writing, or delivered via telephone or the Internet, in support of or in opposition to a candidate by any association, group, or organization to its members and their families
  • Communications to the general public in any form by any means undertaken, by any organization, group, association or business that seeks to disseminate information about Clean Elections neither in support of or in opposition to the election of any candidate
  • De minimis in-kind contributions with a fair-market value of $200 or less per individual per year
qualifying contributions
Qualifying Contributions
  • Contributions of $10 from individuals registered to vote and residing in the district the candidate is seeking to represent
  • Qualifying contributions must be deposited in an account separate from seed money
  • A form must be completed and maintained on file by the campaign for each qualifying contribution collected
  • Contributions may be in the form of currency, check, money order, electronic check, debit card, or credit card
the certification process
The Certification Process
  • Obtain qualifying contributions of $10 per individual from at least 400 registered voters residing in the district
  • Notify the Commission within three business days of receipt of 400 contributions
  • Party candidates must file weekly reports by 12:00 noon on specified reporting dates, listing the number and aggregate dollar amount of qualifying contributions received to date
  • For candidates nominated by direct petition, mandatory weekly reports begin 30 days after signing a Declaration of Intent
certification
Certification
  • Party candidates who collect and deposit 400 qualifying contributions by September 30, 2007 may receive an initial grant of $50,000 in public money, or $25,000 if unopposed
  • Party candidates in non-split districts can collect up to 800 qualifying contributions for a total grant of $100,000
  • Party candidates in the split district can collect up to 800 qualifying contributions for a total grant of the average amount of money spent by all candidates in the two preceding general elections for those offices
  • Candidates nominated by direct petition receive $25,000 for 400 qualifying contributions, $12,500 if unopposed, and up to a total of $50,000 for 800 qualifying contributions
certified candidates
Certified Candidates
  • Any candidate certified by August 17, 2007 will:

1) Have the slogan “Clean Elections Candidate” included with his or her name on the general election ballot;

2) Be permitted to submit to the Commission a statement of no more than 250 words for inclusion with the sample ballot mailed to registered voters in the district

and

debates
Debates
  • All certified candidates are required to participate in at least two interactive debates
  • Candidates select sponsors and arrange debate format subject to review by the Commission
  • Candidates must submit plans to the Commission by October 3, 2007 or no later than 5 days before the first debate occurs, whichever date occurs first
  • The first debate must occur between October 1, 2007 and October 15, 2007, with the second occurring between October 16, 2007 and October 30, 2007
  • Noncertified candidates shall be invited and permitted to participate in the debates
rescue money
Rescue Money
  • If the amount of money raised by or on behalf of a noncertified candidate exceeds the amount of money provided to a certified party candidate in the district, the certified candidate will receive an additional amount equal to the excess amount, up to a maximum of $100,000
  • If a noncertified candidate is benefiting from independent expenditures, or a certified party candidate is the subject of independently financed unfavorable campaign publicity, the certified candidate will be provided an additional amount of money equal to the amount spent, but not to exceed $100,000
  • Certified candidates nominated by direct petition receive a maximum of $50,000 for both of the above circumstances
  • Additional money is issued to party candidates as each increment of $1,000 is reported by noncertified candidates, and to candidates nominated by direct petition as each increment of $500 is reported
return of money
Return of Money
  • Withdrawal, depending upon the circumstances, may require return of all remaining money, along with all public funds received
  • Certified candidates must return all public funds received for refusal to participate in required debates
  • Each certified candidate in the general election must return all unspent funds to the Commission by March 31,2008 for deposit into the Fund
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If you have any questions please contact ELEC’s Special Programs Section

• 1-888-313-ELEC (toll free in NJ) • (609) 292-8700

Remember to visit our website atwww.elec.state.nj.usfor additional Clean Elections information

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