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(1) Except as provided in this rule, each statement and report required by Title 13, chapters 35 and 37, MCA, and these rules shall be filed on forms prescribed by the commissioner. The forms may be obtained without cost and upon request from the commissioner, P.O. Box 202401, Helena, Montana 59620-2401, telephone (406) 444-2942. The forms may also be downloaded from the office's web site at http://www.politicalpractices.mt.gov.  

(a) Pursuant to 13-37-226, MCA, candidates for a state office filled by a statewide vote of all the electors of Montana, incidental committees, independent committees, and ballot issue committees shall file all reports electronically.

(b) Political party committees that receive a contribution or make an expenditure supporting or opposing a candidate for statewide office or a statewide ballot issue shall file all reports electronically in accordance with the procedure described in this rule.

(c) Except as provided in (2), the following candidates shall also file all reports electronically:

(i) candidates for the legislature;

(ii) candidates for the public service commission; and

(iii) candidates for district court judge.

(2) As provided by 13-37-226, MCA, electronic filing is mandatory for those candidates listed in (1). Candidates listed in (1)(c) may submit a written request for a waiver from the requirement that reports be filed electronically. Electronic filing is mandatory for committees who are required to file electronically by statute. Committees who are required to file electronically by this rule, may apply for a waiver. The commissioner may provide a waiver if the candidate or committee establishes that they cannot file electronically for reasons such as they do not have reasonable access to the technology necessary to file electronically.

(3) A report is filed "electronically," as provided in 13-37-226, MCA, by providing the required information to the commissioner through the office's web site by using the "Campaign Electronic Reporting System (CERS)" link to electronically input the information. The commissioner's office will make training available for all users of the electronic filing system.

(4) All statements and reports required by Title 13, chapters 35 and 37, MCA, and these rules shall be filed with the commissioner, as specified in 13-37-225, MCA, and this rule.

(a) Except for reports filed electronically as provided in this rule, each statement and report filed shall be a legible copy bearing an original signature of the individual filing the statement or report.

(b) A statement or report is filed if it is submitted electronically or delivered to the commissioner before 5:00 p.m. on the prescribed filing date, or if it is deposited in an established U.S. post office, postage prepaid, no later than 5:00 p.m. three days before the prescribed filing date.

(c) If the candidate or committee faxes in a report and fails to file the original report with the COPP, the candidate or committee thereby acknowledges the signature on the fax has the same force and effect as the original signature on the report or statement.

(d) The commissioner's office shall acknowledge receipt of a delivered statement or report.


History: 13-37-114, MCA; IMP, 13-37-117, 13-37-225, 13-37-226, 13-37-231, MCA; NEW, Eff. 1/1/76; AMD, 1977 MAR p. 1241, Eff. 12/25/77; AMD, 1979 MAR p. 652, Eff. 7/l/79; AMD, 2001 MAR p. 2049, Eff. 10/12/01; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 634, Eff. 3/23/12; TRANS and AMD, from ARM 44.10.401, 2016 MAR p. 28, Eff. 1/9/16; AMD, 2017 MAR p. 2342, Eff. 12/9/17.

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