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Campaign Finance Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on General Filing

  • Pre-candidates for future offices

  • All existing candidate committees

  • Political action committees (PACs)

  • Political party executive committees

  • Legislative caucus committees

  • Inaugural committees

  • Monetary contributions (money)

  • In-kind contributions (non-cash contributions of value)

  • Loans received

  • Expenditures

  • Unpaid bills

  • Transactions due to a fund-raising Event

  • All other income (for example, refunds or interest on bank accounts)

  • Transfer and receipt of excess funds

  • With the Secretary of State if you are a candidate for any Statewide office, State Senate, House of Delegates, or Judicial office (excluding Magistrate), or if you are running for an office on the ballot in more than one county.

  • With the County Clerk if you are a candidate for any County Office.

  • With the Municipal Recorder if you are a candidate running for city or town office.


The online Campaign Finance Reporting System (CFRS) is available to candidates who file with the Secretary of State. Some candidates are required to use this system, and others may request to use the system on their pre-candidacy form or by application.


You may download campaign finance forms on our web site or request them by calling our office at 304-558-6000. You may submit forms by postal mail to the appropriate filing officer. You may also fax or email your paper form during the filing period, but the original form must be mail postmarked or received by the filing officer within 24 hours.


The original form must be received no earlier than the first day of the filing period and postmarked no later than the last day of the filing period. To view reporting periods and due dates, download 2018 Campaign Finance Deadlines (PDF).

  • Please complete all details on the filing information page.

  • Be sure to enter the candidate's name as it will appear on the ballot.

  • Enter the committee name and treasurer's name and address information as it was listed on the pre-candidacy form or certificate of announcement (candidates) or statement of organization (committees).

  • If you have a new treasurer, you must file a Notice of Change of Treasurer (PDF), or the former treasurer is still responsible for your reports.


If you use the paper form, you must enter totals for all categories of campaign activity on the front page.

Receipt of Funds

Enter the totals for each type of contribution. On your first report for the election year, total contributions election year-to-date will be the same as your total contributions. On all later reports, the total contributions year-to-date is the sum of the previous year-to-date and the current period.


Enter the total expenditures. On your first report for the election year, total expenditures election year-to-date will be the same as your total expenditures. On all later reports, the total expenditures year-to-date is the sum of the previous year-to-date and the current period.

Outstanding Loans and Debts

Unpaid bills and outstanding loans are not included in the cash balance summary because they would inflate your total campaign activity. However, the status of loans must be shown in this section by carrying forward the amounts from your loan schedule and unpaid bills.

Beginning and Ending Balances

The beginning balance is zero on the first report. On all other reports it must equal the ending balance on the last report.

If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.6000   toll free 866.767.8683  email: