What is an Independent Expenditure?
Independent expenditure means an expenditure by an indvidual or entity expressly advocating the success or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or ballot proposition if the expenditure is not made in coordination with, or at the request or suggestion of: a candidate, a candidate's personal campaign committee, a member of the candidate's personal campaign committee; a political action committee for which the candidate is an officer with primary decision making authority, an agent of a candidate, or a political issues committee.
Independent expenditure includes:
- The cost of creating and disseminating material for a public communication, including design and production costs; and
- A contract or other promise to make an expenditure described in anything listed above.
Please note that per 20A-11-1703, a registered political party is not required to report independent expenditures as required in Utah Code 20A-11-17. Reporting requirements for political parties can be found in Utah Code 20A-11-5.
To view Independent Expenditures, click here.
An Independent Expenditure report shall include (20A-11-1704):
If an individual makes the independent expenditure, the individual's name, address, and phone number.
If an entity (not an individual) makes the independent expenditures:
- The entity's name, address, and phone number, and
- The name, address, and phone number of an individual who may be contacted by the chief election officer in relation to the independent expenditure report.
For each independent expenditure made during the current election cycle that was not reported in a previous independent expenditure report:
- The date of the independent expenditure;
- The amount of the independent expenditure;
- The candidate or ballot proposition for which the independent expenditure expressly advocates the success or defeat and a description of whether the independent expenditure supports or opposes the candidate or ballot proposition;
- The identity, address, and phone number of the entity to whom the independent expenditure was made; and
- A description of the goods or services obtained by the independent expenditure.
For each individual or entity which, for political purposes, made cumulative donations of $1,000 or more during the current election cycle to the filer of the independent expenditure report:
- The identity, address, and phone number of the individual or entity;
- The date of the donation; and
- The amount of the donation.
Reporting Deadlines and Penalties (20A-11-1704 & 20A-11-1706):
Within 30 days after the day on which an individual or entity has made a total of at least $1,000 in independent expenditures during an election cycle, the individual or entity shall file a report with the chief election officer.
Within 30 days after the day on which an individual or entity has made a total of at least $1,000 in independent expenditures during an election cycle that were not reported in an independent expenditure report already filed with the chief election officer during the same election cycle, the individual or entity shall file another independent expenditure report with the chief election officer.
The chief election officer shall impose a $100 fine against an individual who fails to file a report within the required time period.
The chief election officer shall impose a $1000 fine against an entity who is not an individual who fails to file an independent expenditure report within the required time period.
All reports must be submitted electronically via the website disclosures.utah.gov.