Campaign Finance Requirements
City Commissioners & PA Department of State
State Candidates – File original hard-copy reports with the Pennsylvania Department of State at 210 North Office Building, Harrisburg, PA. All State-level candidates who reside in Philadelphia must file a copy of each report with the Philadelphia County Board of Elections in City Hall Room 142. There may be additional electronic filing requirements with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. Please see the Board of Ethics section below for more information. Should you wish to use the Philadelphia Campaign Finance Online Filing system, you may do so while following the parameters discussed in the Municipal Candidates section below.
Municipal Candidates – There are electronic filing requirements with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. Electronic reports can simultaneously be filed with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics and the County Board of Elections through the online filing system.
When filing through the online system, you will be responsible for submitting a notarized hard copy of the report cover sheet with the Philadelphia County Board of Elections in City Hall Room 142 no later than ten (10) days after the filing due date. If you have further questions about the 10-day filing period, you may read the below memo.
The Philadelphia County Board of Elections will also still accept notarized original hard-copy reports in City Hall Room 142 for those seeking to submit them.
If you are filing a Political Committee Registration Statement and/or Authorization to Receive Funds on Behalf of a Candidate and wish to receive timestamped copy of your filing from our office, you may mail your Registration Statement and/or Authorization Form to our office, including a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, and we will return your copy to you.
If you have any further questions about campaign finance reporting requirements you may contact the County Board of Elections by visiting Room 142, City Hall or by calling (215) 686-3469.
Board of Ethics
Philadelphia has a municipal campaign finance law which supplements the PA Election Code with additional requirements regarding elections to City office (Mayor, City Council, District Attorney, Controller, City Commissioners, and Sheriff). The Board of Ethics administers and enforces the City’s campaign finance law.
Most notably, Philadelphia’s campaign finance law limits campaign contributions to City candidates, sets rules for how City candidates use political committees, and requires electronic filing of campaign finance reports in the following cases:
- Candidates – Candidates for Philadelphia City elective office and the authorized political committees of such candidates must file electronically with the Board copies of any and all campaign finance reports or statements they file with the City Commissioners.
- Political Committees – Any political committee that files a campaign finance report or independent expenditure report with either the City Commissioners or Department of State must file electronically a copy of that report with the Board, if the report discloses expenditures made to influence a Philadelphia City election, which includes contributions to candidates for Philadelphia City elective office.
- Former Candidates – The authorized political committees of former candidates for Philadelphia City elective office must file electronically with the Board copies of any and all campaign finance reports they file with the City Commissioners or Department of State if those reports disclose any contributions received or expenditures made to retire campaign debt or defray the cost of transition or inauguration.
- Other Persons – Any person who files an independent expenditure report with either the City Commissioners or Department of State must file electronically a copy of that report with the Board, if the report discloses expenditures made to influence a Philadelphia City election.
This information was provided by the Board of Ethics. For more information about Philadelphia’s campaign finance law, please visit the Board of Ethics website.
- Pennsylvania Department of State
- Philadelphia Department of Records (historical Board of Ethics filings)
- Philadelphia Online Campaign Finance Filing
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.
This form is intended for the use of candidates, political committees and contributing lobbyists that are required to disclose contributions and expenditures.
- After the closing of the Cycle 2 reporting period, any contribution of $500.00 or more that is received must be reported within 24 hours, either by fax or email.
- Any independent expenditure of $500.00 or more after the close of the Cycle 2 reporting period must also be reported within 24 hours.
County Board of Elections – Fax: (215) 686-3398 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Act 2020-15 allows for unsworn declarations for campaign finance reports and campaign finance statements filed by political committees, candidates for public office, and contributing lobbyists. Independent expenditure reports are also covered under the new law. Filers must physically sign and date their report or statement cover sheet. Their signature acknowledges, under penalty of perjury, that the statements contained in the filed report or statement are true and correct. The Unsworn Statement is in lieu of the notarization requirement for campaign finance report filings.