Instructions

Instructions

  • How do I get started?
    1. Click “Register.”
    2. The “User Account Creation” screen presents a question asking if you are a robot. Check the box: “I am not a robot.”
    3. Answer the question provided and then click Next.
    4. The Registration Process presents you with two options:
      1. “Begin New Registration” for a new candidate or political committee that has never filed a campaign finance report with the Secretary of State
        OR
      2. “Begin Search” for existing candidates or political committees with reports filed in 2015 or 2016.
    5. The system will send a temporary password to the email address entered on the form.
    6. Login with a username (email address entered on form) and the temporary password provided. The User will be able to change the temporary password during the login process.
    Begin New Registration
    1. Click on “Begin New Registration.” This takes you to the Profile Page to enter your contact Information and the Office Sought details.
    2. Select “submit” to submit to the Secretary of State. This action sends your request to the Secretary of State to review and approve or reject your request. NOTE: If the information you entered is not available (has already been used), you will be instructed to contact the Elections Division at 800-829-6786 or email at CampaignFinance@sos.ms.gov
    3. The Elections Division staff reviews your registration request for approval or rejection
    4. When approved, you will receive an email with your temporary password. NOTE: your email address will always be your username.
      OR
    5. If rejected, you will receive an email with the rejection reason and instructions to contact the Elections Division at 800-829-6786 or email at CampaignFinance@sos.ms.gov
    Begin Search to Affiliate with Existing Candidate or Committee
    1. Click on “Begin Search.” This takes you to a screen to begin your search. Click on “Search for Existing Entity.”
    2. Enter your candidate or committee name, or part of the name, and click Search.If your candidate or committee name has been used to file a report in 2015 or 2016, it should appear in the search results.
    3. Select the correct name by clicking on it and then click “Select to Add.” Your existing data will pull into the Profile screen. If there is any missing data on the Profile screen, please complete it. Also, if there is incorrect data, please correct it.
    4. Click “submit” and your registration request will be sent to the Elections Division for review and approval or rejection.
    5. When approved, you will receive an email with your temporary password. NOTE: your email address will always be your username.
    6. If rejected, you will receive an email with the rejection reason and instructions to contact the Elections Division at 800-829-6786 or email at CampaignFinance@sos.ms.gov
    Logging in for the First Time
    1. Enter your Username and temporary password.
    2. You will be prompted to change the temporary password.
  • How do I generate my required Reporting Schedule?
    1. Click on the left menu button “Begin Filing Session.” Click on “Generate My Required Filings.”
    2. Your schedule of required reports is displayed on the screen. It includes a tracking number (internal number), a description of each required report with the due date, the status and the date created.
  • What additional reports are available to file online?
    In addition to your required schedule of reports, you may also file the following online:

    • Statement of Organization
    • Report of Independent Expenditure for Candidates
    • 48-Hour Report of Reportable Contributions
    • Authorized Judicial Political Committee Report of Loans or Extensions of Credit
    • Waiver Request Form
    • Termination Report
  • How do I use the Contributions and Expenditures Templates?
    These templates are Excel spreadsheets designed for you to record your contribution and expenditure information and then upload the spreadsheet into the required Report. This is an alternate way of entering the data into the Campaign Finance system. It allows the user to record contributions and expenditures over a period of time and then when it is time to file a required report, the user can upload the spreadsheet into the system.
  • How do I know if I have an upcoming report to file?
    There are two ways to know you have an upcoming report to file:
    1. You will receive an email notification reminding you of the pending reporting deadline. It will state the report is due no later than 5:00 pm on the deadline date.
    2. The “Required Filings” tab in your account lists all of the reports you are required to file based on the Office Sought details you entered in your Profile. In the Description column, you will see the report name and the required due date of the report. The Status column will show the report as “Not Filed.”
  • Can I begin a report and save my work so I may complete the report at a later date?
    If you have started entering information on a report, you may click “Save Changes” at any time so you may save your work and access that report to complete and file at a later date. On the Required Filings screen, the status of this report will show "In Progress". When you are ready to work on the report again, you click the box next to the report and click on “Start/Resume/View Report” to open the report to continue entering information.
  • Can I look at my final report before I submit it to the Secretary of State?
    Yes, the system will provide a “preview report” for you to review prior to submission. You may also print out the report; however, you cannot submit a “preview” report. If a “preview” report is filed to meet a deadline, it will not be compliant and therefore you may be subject to the imposition of a civil penalty.
  • When are reports due?
    Reports must be filed by 5:00 p.m. on deadline dates whether filed online or on paper. Every report filed online will have a system-generated tracking number and a date and time stamp on the face of the report. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the report is due at 5:00 p.m. on the first working day PRIOR to the weekend or holiday. Statutory deadline dates are indicated on the front of each reporting form Miss. Code Ann. It is the responsibility of the candidate or committee to make sure the report is delivered on time.

    Campaign finance reports for initiatives are filed on a monthly basis, and the reports must be received by the tenth calendar day of the month following the month being reported.

    The Secretary of State will continue to accept filing by mail, e-mail, or fax. However, we strongly encourage you to file your required reports using the new online Campaign Finance Reporting system.
  • What searches are available on the Secretary of State Campaign Finance website?
    • Candidate Name
    • Committee Name
    • Office
    • Contributions
    • Expenditures
    • Late Filers Report
  • How do I search for information?
    1. Click on the left menu item "Search." You will see 6 tabs across the screen.
    • Candidate Name
    • Committee Name
    • Office
    • Contributions
    • Expenditures
    • Late Filers Report

    2. Click on the tab you wish to search. A screen displaying your search criteria opens.

    3. Enter the data you want to search. Here are some helpful hits for searching:
    • The less information you enter into the search criteria, the more records will be returned for your review. For example, if you enter part of a name or only the last name, more records will be returned than if you entered a specific first and last name.
    • “Search” and “Clear” buttons are provided throughout the screens for your convenience. These buttons will work on the entire screen regardless of where you select them.
    • Many of the search results can be downloaded to your computer. Look for the “Export to Excel” button.
  • Other Frequently Asked Questions:
    What happens if I file some reports online and others on paper?
    If you start entering your information online and then submit a paper report, the system cannot calculate your reporting period and aggregate year-to-date totals. However, you can update the previous period reporting column to reflect the amounts on the paper filed reports for the prior period's "Cash on Hand" balance and aggregate YTD for contributions and expenditures to enable the system to continue calculating your totals.

    What are the required thresholds for reporting contributions and expenditures?
    All candidates and political committees must itemize all contributions received and expenditures made which exceed $200.00 in the aggregate for the calendar year.

    Where can I find additional information and law about Campaign Finance?
    Click here to access the Campaign Finance Home Page


*For questions, contact the Elections Division at CampaignFinance@sos.ms.gov or 800-829-6786.