|Who has to register with OCPF?|
*Federal or out-of-state PACs that wish to support or oppose Massachusetts candidates must organize a
separate Massachusetts PAC with OCPF. Once organized, the Massachusetts PAC must ensure that all of its
fundraising activities comply with the Massachusetts campaign finance law. Funds raised must be kept in
a separate bank account established for the Massachusetts PAC. No transfers may be made from the Federal
PAC or out-of-state PAC to the Massachusetts PAC.
- Candidates for:
- Statewide (Constitutional) Offices
- State Legislature
- Governor's Council
- County Offices
- Barnstable Assembly of Delegates
- Mayor or City Council in Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Springfield and Worcester
- Mayor in:
- Committees for:
- State Political Parties
- Political Action Committees*
- Local Party Committees
- State Ballot Question Committees
|Who does not have to register with OCPF?|
These candidates and committees must register with their local election officials.
- Candidates for federal office
- Candidates for municipal office (other than those listed above)
- Municipal ballot question committees
- Municipal political action committees
|Registered Candidate and Committee Online Database|
to access our online database for candidates and committees registered with our office (includes candidates, PACs, local
party committees, ballot question committees and state party committees).
|Recently Organized Committees|
to see candidates and committees that have recently organized with our office.
|Candidate and PAC Lists|
Click here to view or download the
Registered Candidate List or the Registered PAC List (.pdf files).
|Depository and Non-Depository Candidates and Committees|
There are two different groups of candidates and committees that report
to OCPF. The groups are defined by the reporting system they use:
- Depository Candidates and Committees
Statewide, county and Governor's Council candidates and committees, state party committees and
mayoral and city council candidates in Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Springfield and Worcester
These candidates arrange for their financial institutions to file monthly reports with OCPF listing
their total monthly deposits and providing detailed information about the committee's expenditures.
In addition, these candidates file monthly reports of contribution information, and, if applicable,
detailed reports for any reimbursement or credit card payments made by the committee. For
candidates on the ballot, the frequency increases to twice-monthly in the last six months of an election
year. These candidates are also responsible for filing year-end summary reports.
- Non-depository Candidates and Committees
Candidates for the State Legislature or the Barnstable Assembly of Delegates, political action committees,
local party committees and ballot question committees
These candidates file directly with OCPF. Candidates, PACs and party committees file reports at least
annually, with two extra reports due in years in which they are on the ballot: a pre-primary report and a
pre-election report. Ballot question committees file on a slightly different schedule before and after
the election. With the exception of the depository candidates noted above, municipal candidates and
committees, including local ballot question committees, file locally based on the dates of their local
elections. Those reports are available from local city or town clerks or election commissions.
Political Committees and Other Organizations|
A political committee is a committee that raises money for a
specific political purpose, such as:
- The election of a single candidate (candidate's committee);
- The election or defeat of one or more candidates (political action or people's committee);
- The promotion of a particular party (state and local party committees); or
- The passage or defeat of a ballot question (ballot question committee).
Before it can raise funds for its specified purpose, a committee must be properly organized with
OCPF or, if applicable, a local election official.
In general, organizations that are not political committees may spend money for political purposes,
such as contributions to candidates or PACs or expenditures to support or oppose ballot questions,
without having to organize as a political committee. That assumes that the group is spending
its general funds (such as dues) and has not raised the funds specifically for a political purpose,
such as giving to candidates. Raising funds for a political purpose would make the organization
a political committee that would have to organize with OCPF or the proper local election
official. Contributions and expenditures by organizations are subject to disclosure by the
recipient candidate or committee or the organization, or both. In addition, business
corporations, and organizations that receive corporate funds, are prohibited from making expenditures
to support or oppose candidates, parties or PACs.