Legalese — Campaign Finance Laws

vote nowElection day is coming up, and goodness knows we are all being bombarded with political ads on the television, on the radio, in our mailboxes, and on our telephone lines. There’s a lot of talk about campaign financing, so I thought I’d go over Georgia’s laws here.

According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 25-5-41, “No person, corporation, political committee, or political party shall make, and no candidate or campaign committee shall receive from any such entity, contributions to any candidate for state-wide elected office which in the aggregate for an election cycle exceed:
(1) Five thousand dollars for a primary election;
(2) Three thousand dollars for a primary run-off election;
(3) Five thousand dollars for a general election; and
(4) Three thousand dollars for a general election runoff.”
These rules apply to statewide offices such as the Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Appellate Judges, and the Insurance Commissioner.

For the General Assembly, which is the Georgia State Senators and Representatives, and for local offices such as Sheriff, Mayor, Superior Court Judges, School Board Members, and County Commissioners, “No person, corporation, political committee, or political party shall make, and no candidate or campaign committee shall receive from any such entity, contributions to any candidate for the General Assembly or public office other than state-wide elected office which in the aggregate for an election cycle exceed:
(1) Two thousand dollars for a primary election;
(2) One thousand dollars for a primary run-off election;
(3) Two thousand dollars for a general election; and
(4) One thousand dollars for a general election runoff.”

There are very strict requirements about reporting donations to campaigns. When you give money to a candidate and they ask you for a good bit of information, it is not just to get your information for their mailing lists. It is primarily, in fact, because this information needs to be reported to the Georgia Government and Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Not just the donations, but also the expenditures. If you haven’t looked at these reports, I suggest you do so. The information can be rather interesting. You can search any candidate by clicking here.

When we get into the legislative session, I will speak more about what lobbyists can and can’t do. But for now, educate yourself on the candidates running for office, and get out and vote!

This article was written by a lawyer, but should not be considered legal advice in any way, shape, or form. It is written for general (and generally vague) informational purposes only. In order to properly evaluate your case, a lawyer must examine all the facts and circumstances that are particular and personal to your situation. I have not done that here.

About Lori Duff 352 Articles
Lori is the author of the bestselling collection of humor essays, "Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza" currently available exclusively on Amazon. In order to finance her writing habit, she is a practicing lawyer with Jones & Duff, LLC. She is married to Mike Duff, who is a retired DeKalb County Public Safety Officer, and has two amazing children who make cameo embarrassing appearances in her blog posts and who attend Walton County Public Schools. Her legal column, "Legalese", is meant to de-mystify and humanize the Court system. When asked about her writing, Lori says, "Life is too short not to laugh at every available opportunity. My goal is to make myself laugh -- and hopefully you will laugh along with me."

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