Candidates & Campaigns

Independent Expenditures

“New Mexico’s voters are bombarded with political ads trying to convince them to vote one way or another, and they deserve to know who is paying for them. This new system will get us closer to the level of disclosure that New Mexico has been lacking for far too long. I’ll keep working to shine a light on dark money wherever possible.” – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

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For more information on independent expenditure reporting requirements, please refer to the information below.


Statutory Reference:

1.10.13 NMAC

Please read the full rule or contact the SOS for more information if you have questions regarding the disclosure of independent expenditures.

Definition:

An “Independent expenditure” is an expenditure that is:

(1) made by a person other than a candidate or campaign committee;

(2) not a coordinated expenditure; and

(3) made to pay for an advertisement that:

(a) expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the passage or defeat of a clearly identified ballot measure;

(b) is susceptible to no other reasonable interpretation than as an appeal to vote for or against a clearly identified candidate or ballot measure; or

(c) refers to a clearly identified candidate or ballot measure and is published and disseminated to the relevant electorate in New Mexico within 30 days before the primary election or 60 days before the general election in which the candidate or ballot measure is on the ballot.

Required Reporting:

Requirements for reporting independent expenditures for the election or defeat of a candidate or ballot measure on a primary, general, or statewide special election are required to be reported to the Office of the Secretary of State in accordance with 1.10.13 NMAC.

Persons or entities already registered as a political committee (PAC) will file reports in accordance with the Campaign Reporting Act (Chapter 1, Article 19 NMSA 1978) and 1.10.13 NMAC.  Those persons or entities who do not fall in a category requiring PAC registration  cannot be constitutionally compelled to comply with all the registration and reporting requirements imposed on PACs by the Campaign Reporting Act.  Courts have also ruled, however, that persons or entities who engage in the particular kind of campaign spending that meets the definition of independent expenditure under 1.10.13 NMAC can be required to report certain categories of information regarding the nature of their independent expenditures and the sources of the money that were used to pay for them. Accordingly, all persons making independent expenditures for primary, general, or statewide special elections will be required to file reports as follows:

  • Any person, other than a registered PAC, who makes an independent expenditure, in an amount that exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000) for one or more non-statewide race or ballot measure or in an amount that exceeds two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for one or more statewide race or ballot measure, or in an amount that, when added to the aggregate amount of the independent expenditures made by the same person during the election cycle, exceeds these thresholds, shall file a report of the independent expenditure.
  • A person who makes independent expenditures totaling three thousand dollars ($3,000) or less in a non-statewide race or ballot measure, or seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) or less in a statewide race or ballot measure during the election cycle shall report the name and address of each person who has made contributions of more than a total of two hundred dollars ($200) in the previous twelve months that were earmarked or made in response to a solicitation to fund independent expenditures, and shall report the amount of each such contribution made by that person.
  • A person who makes independent expenditures totaling more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) for a non-statewide race or ballot measure or more than seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) for a statewide race or ballot measure during an election cycle shall report the following information:

The Independent Expenditure Reporting Form must be used to disclose all independent expenditures by the required deadline.  The form may be used to disclose new expenditures or to amend previously reported expenditures.

The completed form must be submitted via email to sos.elections@state.nm.us.  Once submitted, the form will be posted to the SOS website.

 

Time of filing reports:

  • An independent expenditure of more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) that is made within fourteen days before a primary, general, or statewide special election shall be reported within twenty-four hours after making the expenditure.
  • Except for independent expenditures that are required to be reported within twenty-four hours, all other independent expenditure shall be reported on the earliest of the reporting dates specified in Section 1-19-29 NMSA 1978 subsequent to the date the independent expenditure is made.  The reporting schedule can be found here.

Upcoming Elections

  • 2019 Regular Local Elections - November 5, 2019
  • 2020 Municipal Officer Elections - March 3, 2020
  • 2020 Primary Election - June 2, 2020
  • 2020 General Election - November 3, 2020

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