With campaigning complete, ballots cast, and votes provisionally tabulated, it is time for campaign committees of local candidates to take down the yard signs and complete their post-election campaign finance reports.

Generally, Ohio law requires the campaign committees for candidates whose name appeared on the ballot to file a post-election campaign finance report no later than the close of business on the thirty-eighth day (38) after the general election. R.C. 3517.10(A)(2). This year, that deadline is 4:00 p.m. on December 15, 2017. It is important to note that the report must be received by the board of elections in the county where the elected position was sought by the close of business on December 15. Otherwise, the post-election campaign finance report is late. See 3517.11(A)(2)(a).

Failure to timely file a post-election campaign finance report may result in a referral to the Ohio Elections Commission, and may expose the candidate and/or the treasurer of the campaign committee to monetary penalties.

The post-election campaign report must account for all campaign contributions and expenditures properly made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the previously filed campaign finance statement, through the period ending seven days before the filing of the post-election statement. R.C. 3517.10(A)(2). Accordingly, candidates and campaign committees should promptly review their books to ensure that all contributions and expenditures are accounted for, and conclude a (hopefully) successful campaign by filing their post-election campaign finance reports no later than 4:00 p.m. on December 15.

Benjamin Chojnacki is an attorney in our Public Law group. He can be reached at bchojnacki@walterhav.com and 216.619.7850.