Candidates are responsible for keeping careful records of all contributions received and any expenditures made in support of their run for office. Simply put, any financial activities directed toward influencing an election must be reported. This not only includes the candidate, but committees and private individuals as well.
Opening A Committee
Often a candidate will authorize a committee to accept contributions and make expenditures on his or her behalf. This committee must have a chairperson and a treasurer. The candidate can be his own chairperson, but not his own treasurer. Forms for opening a committee are available at the Election Board Office or can be obtained from the Department of States web site (see Links below).
Reporting Contributions / Expenses
A campaign finance reporting schedule is mandated by law and due dates are specified as follows:
A detailed list of reporting dates is available at the Election Board Office. If receipts and/or expenditures during a specific reporting period exceed $250, a report of these must be filed. If the amount is less than $250, a statement is filed in lieu of a report.
What is required to open a campaign committee?
Must a committee always have a chairperson and treasurer?
What is the definition of a contribution?
Are there any limitations on the kind of contribution that is accepted?
Where does a candidate and a committee file campaign expense reports?
What if I am late filing my Expense Reports?
Many Campaign Finance forms are now available online*. Instructions appear at the end of the documents.
Electronic Campaign Finance Application Now available
Campaign Finance Report (DSEB-502)
(Large file size PDF. This will take a few moments to download)This form is intended for the use of candidates, political committees and contributing lobbyists that are required to disclose contributions and expenditures. (further instructions available with form)
Campaign Finance Report (DSEB-503)
You may file this statement in lieu of a full report when the amount of contributions (including in-kind contributions) received, the amount of money expended, and the liabilities incurred each did not exceed $250.00 during the reporting period. (further instructions available with form)
Political Committee Registration Statement (DSEB-500)
Use this form to register a new political committee. You may also use it to amend the original registration when the committee appoints a new chairperson or treasurer, or changes any other required information.
The Pennsylvania Election Code provides that no treasurer of a political committee shall receive any money on behalf of a candidate until such political committee has been authorized in writing by the candidate on a form designed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. (further instructions available with form)
Non-Bid Contract Reporting Form - Section 1641 (DSEB-504)
This form is to be used by any corporation, association, partnership, sole proprietorship or other business entity which has been awarded any non-bid contract from the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions to report certain individual political contributions. (further instructions available with form)
Independent Expenditure Reporting Form (DSEB-505)
If you make an Independent Expenditure (an expenditure not in cooperation or consultation with any candidate or candidate's political committee) to influence the outcome of the election of a candidate or ballot question, you must file this report if the expenditure exceeds $100 in a calendar year. (further instructions available with form)
Section 1628 of the Campaign Finance Reporting Law requires any candidate or political committee, authorized by a candidate and created solely for the purpose of influencing an election on behalf of that candidate, which receives any contribution or pledge of five hundred dollars ($500) or more after the final pre-primary/pre-election report has been deemed completed shall report such contribution to the appropriate supervisor. The candidate, chairperson or treasurer of the political committee shall send the report of late contributions within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of the contribution. These contributions must be reported through and including the day of the primary/election.
Countywide Candidates are required to submit PDF copies of all Campaign Finance Reports via email to CampaignFinance@lehighcounty.org by the following deadlines:
Late Filing Fees
According to Section 1632 (25 P.S. § of the Campaign Finance Laws, a late filing fee for each report or statement of expenditures and contributions which is not filed within the prescribed period shall be imposed as follows. Such fee shall be ten dollars ($10) for each day or part of a day excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays that a report is overdue. An additional fee of ten dollars ($10) is due for each of the first six (6) days that a report is overdue. The maximum fee payable with respect to a single report is two hundred fifty dollars ($250). A late filing fee is the personal liability of the candidate or treasurer of a political committee and cannot be paid from contributions to the candidate or committee, nor may such fee be considered an expenditure. No person shall be deemed elected to a public office until all required Campaign Finance reports are filed.
Note: Postmarks are acceptable as proof of timely filing where a report is postmarked by the
US Postal Service no later than the day PRIOR to the filing deadline, local County Office closes at 4:00 PM
Type of Report
Complete as of
Second Friday Pre-Primary
May 18, 2020
June 2, 2020 (ends/includes)
Thirty Day Post-Primary
June 22, 2020
Second Friday Pre-Election
October 19, 2020
October 23, 2020
Thirty Day Post-Election
November 23, 2020
December 3, 2020
2020 Annual Report
December 31, 2020
January 31, 2021