Methodology for Compiling Total Contributions to Ballot Measures

SB 844 (2014, Pavley) requires the Secretary of State to add up the contributions received by committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures, so that the public can see, at a glance, the total contributions raised to support or oppose each ballot measure.  Committees that form to support or oppose a ballot measure are required to file a Statement of Organization that publicly states that the committee is formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures.  Thereafter, committees file Recipient Committee Campaign Statements to report contributions received by the committee.  These public documents are used by the Secretary of State’s Political Reform Division to identify ballot measure committees and to identify contributions received by ballot measure committees that can be added up to allow the public to see how much has been raised for a ballot measure, and how much has been raised to support the measure and how much has been raised to oppose the measure.

The additional information that follows describes the specific methodology used to arrive at total contributions for each measure, and for total contributions raised to support or oppose each measure.

For Every Ballot Measure Committee

For each committee that forms to support or oppose a measure, the date on which the committee specifies on a Statement of Organization (Form 410) or Recipient Committee Campaign Statement (Form 460) that the committee supports or opposes a measure is used as the beginning date for compiling contributions reported as received by that committee.

For Ballot Measure Committees that have not Morphed, but Were Formed in Prior Election Cycle

For each committee that forms to support or oppose a measure, the date on which the committee specifies on a Statement of Organization (Form 410) or Recipient Committee Campaign Statement (Form 460) that the committee supports or opposes a measure is used as the beginning date for compiling contributions reported as received by that committee.

For Ballot Measure Committees that Morph

Committees that existed previously, but were not formed as a ballot measure committee or formed as a ballot measure committee for ballot measures in previous election cycles, can become (morph into) a committee to support or oppose a ballot measure being voted on in the current election cycle.  When this occurs, the beginning balance of funds reported by the committee on its Recipient Committee Campaign Statement (Form 460) on or after the date the committee morphed and contributions raised thereafter are counted as contributions to support or oppose the ballot measure the committee subsequently states that it supports or opposes.

To Account for Transfers Between Allied Committees

Transfers – contributions between committees that support or oppose the same measure – are deducted from the total contributions reported by the committee that received the funds.  This avoids the problem of counting money raised once – reported as contributions to the committee making the transfer and reported as contributions to the committee receiving the transfer – to ensure the money is not double-counted.  It also appropriately assigns the contributions to the committee that actually received the contributions initially.  If a committee reports that it acts as an "intermediary" for a contribution received by the committee – that is, it transfers the contribution received to an allied committee – the contribution is treated as a transfer, so that the contribution is not double-counted

For Multi-Measure Committees

The total amount of contributions received by a committee supporting or opposing more than one ballot measure are included in the total contributions for each ballot measure the committee supports or opposes.  If a committee morphs into a committee to support or oppose additional measures, only the beginning balance of funds reported by the committee at the time the committee morphs and those contributions raised thereafter are counted as contributions to the ballot measure the committee subsequently states it is supporting or opposing. 

For Misreported Data

When a committee misreports activity, corrections are made to account for these reporting mistakes.  For instance, when a ballot measure committee receives a transfer from a ballot measure committee that is supporting or opposing the same measure, but the ID number for the committee making the transfer is not reported or reported incorrectly by the committee receiving the transfer, this misreported information is corrected manually.