Election Commission Issues Correction

October 1, 2012
Dennis Stanley

A correction as to what laws apply to those supporting or opposing an upcoming liquor referendum has been issued by the DeKalb County Election Commission office.

Originally it was announced that communications such as signs, broadcast and print advertisements must include a disclaimer of who paid for the communication.

“We have since found out that is in error,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. “Based on a Supreme Court ruling, individuals and organizations are exempt from the ‘paid for’ law that applies to political candidates. We’re sorry for any confusion this may have caused.”

However, there is a different election law that does apply to certain proponents and opponents of questions on the ballot. Stanley said if two or more persons join forces to support or oppose or an entity such as a church takes a position on a referendum they are subject to the state’s campaign finance laws.

Specifically “reports of appointment of treasurers and disclosure of contributions and expenditures are required of : (1) a group of two or more individuals making expenditures to support or oppose any state or local measure in a referendum, (2) a corporation or any other organization making expenditures to support or oppose any state or local referendum, (3) any committee, club, association or group of persons receiving contributions or making expenditures totaling more than $250 in a calendar year to support or oppose any state or local measure in a referendum.”
Those who fail to follow this law could be subject to civil penalties.

“The election commission obviously is not taking a position on the referendum, but just informing those who are that certain state laws may apply to their activities,” Stanley said.

Questions regarding either the advertising disclosure law or campaign finance disclosure law can be directed to the local election office at 597-4146.

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