Resources

 

Candidate Qualifying

Contents:
I. Introduction
II. Qualifications to be a Candidate
III. Alabama Ethics Commission Requirements
IV. IRS Financial Requirements
V. Alabama Secretary of State Requirements
VI. Alabama Democratic Party Requirements
VII. Qualifying FAQs

IX. VoteBuilder


I. Introduction

CANDIDATES MAY QUALIFY FOR OFFICE UNDER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, BEGINNING JANUARY 8, 2018 AT 9:00 A.M. AND ENDING FEBRUARY 9, 2018 AT 5:00 P.M.

To qualify for elected office in Alabama, state candidates must file documents with several entities: the Alabama Democratic Party (or local County Chair), the Alabama Ethics Commission, the Alabama Secretary of State, and the IRS. 

Candidates for state office cannot solicit or receive contributions any time the Alabama Legislature is in session, unless the legislature is in session within 120 days of an election. The only exception is state candidates involved in a special session called by the Governor. County and municipal candidates may continue to accept funds.

BE SURE TO SEND ANY MAILINGS VIA CERTIFIED MAIL.


II. Qualifications to be a Candidate

Minimum Requirements for Public Office


III. Alabama Ethics Commission Requirements

WARNING: It is imperative that you immediately file the Statement of Economic Interests form with the Ethics Commission.  Failure to timely do so may result in your disqualification as a candidate.

Candidates at every level of government shall file a completed Statement of Economic Interests for the previous calendar year with the appropriate election official SIMULTANEOUSLY with the Ethics Commission on the date he or she becomes a candidate as defined in Section 17-5-2 or the date such candidate files his or her qualifying papers with the appropriate election official, whichever date occurs FIRST.

Click here to visit the Ethics Commission's website and to file the Statement of Economic Interests form

NOTICE TO FEDERAL CANDIDATES:
Click here to visit the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Standards of Official Conduct website for information related to filing disclosures as a candidate for Congress.
Click here to visit the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics website for information related to filing disclosures as a candidate for U.S. Senate.

NOTICE TO JUDICIAL CANDIDATES ONLY: FILE A COPY WITH THE CLERK OF THE SUPREME COURT WITHIN 10 DAYS OF QUALIFYING AS A CANDIDATE, 300 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. The Supreme Court also requires a financial disclosure form.  Please direct all questions regarding Supreme Court filings to the Clerk of the Supreme Court.
Canons of Judicial Ethics, Canon 6, Subsection C.
A judge, at the time he or she takes the oath of office, or a candidate for judicial office, within 10 days after qualifying, shall file as a public document with the clerk of the supreme court a "statement of economic interests" on the form prepared and prescribed by the state ethics commission ....... (please click link above and carefully read entire subsection.)


IV. IRS Financial Requirements

The IRS requires that all candidate bank accounts have an Employer Identification Number (also known as a Federal Tax ID number). There are three easy ways to apply for this number below. It is recommended that you obtain professional advise concerning any additional IRS requirements.

1. The IRS encourages you to obtain your campaign's EIN by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933.
2. You can apply online for an EIN number here (choose Political Organization).
3. You can also fill out and print the SS-4 Application for an EIN here (pdf format).
Fax to (859) 669-5760 or Mail to Attn: EIN Operation, Philadelphia, PA 19255
Instructions for this form can be found by clicking here.

More information concerning IRS requirements can be found here and/or here.


V. Alabama Secretary of State Requirements

If you have not done so already, fill out the Appointment of Principal Campaign Committee form online with the Secretary of State. This must be filed simultaneously upon qualifying or within 5 calendar days of reaching the fundraising/expenditure threshold for your office, whichever occurs first. File a hard copy with the State Party or County Chair with your qualification form.

NOTICE TO FEDERAL CANDIDATES [for U.S. House or U.S. Senate]:
Click here to visit the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website for financial reporting forms and procedures.

FCPA Forms and Filing Calendar

The Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) requires candidates to file monthly reports following the filing of their Appointment of Principal Campaign committee form. Additional weekly and daily deadlines have also been added in lieu of the old 10 and 45 Day reports.

Use the Candidate Filing Guide linked below as a reference for filing your FCPA reports and file with the appropriate authority according to the deadlines laid out in the Filing Calendar linked below. When in doubt -- FILE, even if it is only the waiver. In addition, familiarize yourself with the Candidate Filing Guidelines, and Campaign Advertising Disclaimer Guidelines.

Certain campaigns are now required to file financial disclosure reports electronically. Per the Candidate Filing Guide:  "Commencing with the 2018 election cycle, all principal campaign committees and political action committees that file with the judge of probate, other than candidates for municipal office, shall file electronically with the Secretary of State.  [§17-5-9(e)]."

Form and resource links:


VI. Alabama Democratic Party Requirements

The state party requires candidates to file a qualifying fee and the following Declaration of Candidacy form.
WARNING: Qualifying forms and fees must be received in our office prior to the qualifying deadline regardless of postmark. We must have the forms in hand by 5:00 PM at the end of qualifying in order to certify the nominees by our deadline. 

2018 Forms

Declaration of Candidacy [PDF Document]

Qualifying fees are based on 2% of the base salary for each office. The following calculations are subject to change if found to be incorrect.

Please call 800-995-3386 for an updated list of qualifying fees.

Type Office Qualifying Fee
Federal United States Representative $3,480.00
Judicial Attorney General $3,200.05
Judicial Circuit Clerk $1,381.97
Judicial Circuit Court Judge $2,398.97
Judicial Court of Civil Appeals Judge $3,190.05
Judicial Court of Criminal Appeals Judge $3,190.05
Judicial District Court Judge $2,378.97
Judicial Chief Justice Alabama Supreme Court $3,220.05
Judicial Supreme Court Justice $3,200.05
State Governor $2,418.72
State Lt. Governor $1,325.14
State Commisioner of Agriculture $1,693.10
State Secretary of State $1,704.96
State Public Service Commission $1,931.82
State Auditor $1,704.96
State Alabama Senate $925.14
State Alabama House of Representatives $925.14
State Treasurer $1,704.96
State School Board (Seats 2, 4, 6,and 8) $360.00
Party SDEC $50.00

File the following with the Alabama Democratic Party state headquarters, 501 Adams Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104, or mail certified to P.O. Box 950, Montgomery, AL 36101:

  • Completed and notarized Declaration of Candidacy
  • Qualifying fee by check or money order
  • Statement of Economic Interests (copy)
  • Appointment of Principal Campaign Committee Form (copy)
  • if check is returned for insufficient funds, closure of account, etc. your qualification for office will be null and void unless payment of fee is remedied before the close of the qualifying period.

VII. Qualifying FAQs

Q. Do I need to file a copy of my Statement of Economic Interests (Ethics) form with the ADP when qualifying?

A. Candidates at every level of government shall file a completed Statement of Economic Interests for the previous calendar year with the appropriate election official SIMULTANEOUSLY with the Ethics Commission on the date he or she becomes a candidate as defined in Section 17-5-2 or the date such candidate files his or her qualifying papers with the appropriate election official, whichever date occurs FIRST. Submit a copy of your current SOEI to ADP with your qualifying form.

Q. Do I need to file my FCPA Pre-election reports with the Party?

A. No. File your FCPA campaign disclosure reports as directed in the Candidate Filing Guide and according to the FCPA Filing Calendar.

Q. Can I pay my qualifying fee after filing my Declaration of Candidacy (qualifying form)?

A. No, you must file your fee at the same time you file your qualifying form.

Q. Do I have to obtain a Tax ID (EIN) in order to qualify.

A. No, but it is advised, and possibly required by the bank, that you obtain an EIN for you campaign's bank account.

Q. Can you run for State Democratic Executive Committee and for public office at the same time?

A. Yes, unless you are a federal employee. State Democratic Executive Committee, County Executive Committee, and Delegate are non-paid positions.

Q. Can I run for County or State Committee, or an elective office, if I am a federal employee.

A. No, the Hatch Act forbids federal employees from running for paid elective office or for unpaid Party office, unless that employee resigns. One should research the Hatch Act for more information or for clarification.


VIII. VoteBuilder

VoteBuilder is a partnership between the Democratic National Commitee and the Alabama Democrats to build a cost-effective, state-of-the-art voter file tool for Democratic candidates to use. It is an incredible resource for candidates at any level, and can help make sure you are using your time and your resources effectively. For more information about the VoteBuilder system, please check out our VoteBuilder page or contact VoteBuilder administrator for more information.