The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 17: Elections

Chapter 49: NOMINATIONS

 

Sub-Chapter 1: Primary Elections

§ 2688. Recount on question submitted

A voter may demand a recount of ballots on any question submitted to the vote of a town using the Australian ballot system, if the margin by which the question passed or failed is less than five percent of the total votes cast on the question. The request shall be filed with the municipal clerk within 10 days after the vote. The procedure shall be the same as in the case of recount of the votes cast for a candidate at an election. The petitioner and his or her designated representative and a voter representing the other side of the question voted upon and his or her designated representative may inspect the vote and observe the recount under the guidance of the board of civil authority. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 115.)

§ 2689. Preservation of ballots

In an election in which the Australian ballot system is used, the ballots shall be preserved as provided in this title in the case of general elections. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

§ 2690. Repealed. 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 120.

§ 2701. Presidential primary; time of holding

In presidential election years, a presidential primary for each major political party shall be held in all municipalities on the first Tuesday in March. The secretary of state shall prepare and distribute for use at the primary an official ballot for each party for which one or more candidates qualify for the placing of their names on the ballot under section 2702 of this title. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; amended 1995, No. 38, § 2.)

§ 2702. Nominating petition

The name of any person shall be printed upon the primary ballot as a candidate for nomination by any major political party if petitions signed by at least 1,000 voters in accordance with sections 2353, 2354, and 2358 of this title are filed with the Secretary of State, together with the written consent of the person to the printing of the person's name on the ballot. Petitions shall be filed not later than 5:00 p.m. on the first Monday after the first Tuesday of January preceding the primary election. The petition shall be in a form prescribed by the Secretary of State. A person's name shall not be listed as a candidate on the primary ballot of more than one party in the same election. Each petition shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $2,000.00 to be paid to the Secretary of State. However, if the petition of a candidate is accompanied by the affidavit of the candidate, which shall be available for public inspection, that the candidate and the candidate's campaign committee are without sufficient funds to pay the filing fee, the Secretary of State shall waive all but $300.00 of the payment of the filing fee by that candidate. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; amended 1995, No. 38, § 3; 2011, No. 66, § 16, eff. June 1, 2011; amended 2013, No. 1, § 82.)

§ 2703. Examining petitions, supplementary petitions

The secretary of state shall examine the petitions and ascertain whether they conform to the provisions of this chapter, and sections 2353, 2354, and 2358 of this title. If found not to conform, he or she shall state in writing why a particular petition cannot be accepted, and within 72 hours from receipt he or she shall return it to the candidate in whose behalf it was filed. In such case, supplementary petitions may be filed not later than 10 days after the date for filing petitions. However, supplementary petitions shall not be accepted if petitions with the signatures of at least 1,000 persons were not filed by 5:00 p.m. on the third Monday of January preceding the primary election. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980.)

§ 2704. Ballots

A person voting at the primary shall be required to ask for the ballot of the party in which the voter wishes to vote and an election official shall record the voter's choice of ballot by marking the entrance checklist with a letter code, as designated by the secretary of state, to indicate the voter's party choice. The names of all candidates on the ballot shall be listed in alphabetical order. Each voter may vote for one candidate for the presidential nomination of one party, either by placing a mark opposite the printed name of a candidate as in other primaries, or by writing in the name of the candidate of the voter's choice. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; amended 1995, No. 38, § 4; 2003, No. 59, § 43.)

§ 2705. Checklist

The checklist for the primary shall be the checklist to be used at the annual town meeting, except that the names of residents of unorganized towns and gores shall be added to the checklist in the manner provided in section 2123 of this title and it shall be stated next to their names that they are eligible to vote in the presidential primary but not on town meeting items. Towns that do not hold an annual meeting on the first Tuesday or the Monday evening before the first Tuesday in March shall update their checklist before the election as required by chapter 43 of this title. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; 1995, No. 38, § 5.)

§ 2706. Provisions applicable

The appropriate provisions of this title shall apply to presidential primaries, unless clearly inconsistent herewith. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; amended 1995, No. 38, § 6.)

§ 2715. Party convention to elect delegates

(a) The state committee of each major political party holding a national convention shall call a party convention, under rules proposed in advance and adopted by the committee, to be held during the month of May or June in each presidential election year. At the convention, delegates and alternates to the national convention of such party, to the number apportioned to this state, shall be elected by the rules adopted by each major political party.

(b) Each major political party shall adopt rules relating to the delegates and alternates of a candidate who has withdrawn as a candidate. A declaration of withdrawal shall be made in writing and becomes effective when filed with the secretary of state.

(c) Each major political party shall adopt rules relating to the manner in which the delegates elected in accordance with this section shall represent, at the national convention, the voters for whom the delegates were elected. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980; amended 1991, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 10, 1992; 1995, No. 38, § 7.)

§ 2716. Notification to secretary of state

Not later than 5:00 p.m. on the 47th day before the day of the general election, the chairman of the state committee of each major political party shall certify in writing to the secretary of state the names of the presidential and vice presidential nominees selected at the party's national convention. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980.)

§ 2721. Nomination of presidential electors

In presidential election years, presidential electors for major political parties shall be nominated at the party platform convention held pursuant to this title. Electors for all other presidential candidates shall be nominated pursuant to subchapter 3 of chapter 49 of this title. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980.)

§ 2722. Certification of nominees for electors

After adjournment of the platform convention of a major political party, the chairman and secretary of the convention shall promptly execute a sworn statement certifying the names, towns of residence, and correct mailing addresses of the persons nominated by the convention to serve as electors, and shall promptly file the statement with the secretary of state, along with the written consent of each person to be a nominee for elector. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980.)

§ 2731. Certificates of election

When the canvassing board provided for in section 2592 of this title meets, it shall issue its certificates of election, with respect to the presidential election, to the electors nominated by the party whose candidate for president has received the greatest number of votes. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980.)

§ 2732. Meeting of electors

The electors shall meet at the state house on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their election, to vote for president and vice president of the United States, agreeably to the laws of the United States. If there is a vacancy in the electoral college on that day, occasioned by death, refusal to act, neglect to attend, failure of a person elected to qualify, or for other cause, the other electors present shall at once fill such vacancy viva voce and by a plurality of votes. When all the electors appear or a vacancy therein is filled, the electors shall perform the duties required of them by the Constitution and laws of the United States. If a vacancy occurs and is filled as aforesaid, the electors shall attach to the certificate of their votes a statement showing how such a vacancy occurred and their action thereon. The electors must vote for the candidates for president and vice president who received the greatest number of votes at the general election. (Added 1979, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 6, 1980.)

§ 2751. Article I-Membership

Any state of the United States and the District of Columbia may become a member of this agreement by enacting this agreement. (Added 2011, No. 10, § 1.)

§ 2752. Article II-Right of the people in member states to vote for president and vice president

Each member state shall conduct a statewide popular election for President and Vice President of the United States. (Added 2011, No. 10, § 1.)

§ 2753. Article III-Manner of appointing presidential electors in member states

(a) Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each presidential slate in each State of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a "national popular vote total" for each presidential slate.

(b) The chief election official of each member state shall designate the presidential slate with the largest national popular vote total as the "national popular vote winner."

(c) The presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment in that official's own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association with the national popular vote winner.

(d) At least six days before the day fixed by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, each member state shall make a final determination of the number of popular votes cast in the state for each presidential slate and shall communicate an official statement of such determination within 24 hours to the chief election official of each other member state.

(e) The chief election official of each member state shall treat as conclusive an official statement containing the number of popular votes in a state for each presidential slate made by the day established by federal law for making a state's final determination conclusive as to the counting of electoral votes by Congress.

(f) In event of a tie for the national popular vote winner, the presidential elector-certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment of the elector slate nominated in association with the presidential slate receiving the largest number of popular votes within that official's own state.

(g) If, for any reason, the number of presidential electors nominated in a member state in association with the national popular vote winner is less than or greater than that state's number of electoral votes, the presidential candidate on the presidential slate that has been designated as the national popular vote winner shall have the power to nominate the presidential electors for that state and that state's presidential elector certifying official shall certify the appointment of such nominees.

(h) The chief election official of each member state shall immediately release to the public all vote counts or statements of votes as they are determined or obtained.

(i) This article shall govern the appointment of presidential electors in each member state in any year in which this agreement is, on July 20, in effect in states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes. (Added 2011, No. 10, § 1.)

§ 2754. Article IV-Other provisions

(a) This agreement shall take effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form and the enactments by such states have taken effect in each state.

(b) Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President's term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term.

(c) The chief executive of each member state shall promptly notify the chief executive of all other states of when this agreement has been enacted and has taken effect in that official's state, when the state has withdrawn from this agreement, and when this agreement takes effect generally.

(d) This agreement shall terminate if the electoral college is abolished.

(e) If any provision of this agreement is held invalid, the remaining provisions shall not be affected. (Added 2011, No. 10, § 1.)

§ 2755. Article V-Definitions

For purposes of this agreement:

(1) "Chief election official" shall mean the state official or body that is authorized to certify the total number of popular votes for each presidential slate.

(2) "Chief executive" shall mean the governor of a state of the United States or the mayor of the District of Columbia.

(3) "Elector slate" shall mean a slate of candidates who have been nominated in a state for the position of presidential elector in association with a presidential slate.

(4) "Presidential elector" shall mean an elector for President and Vice President of the United States.

(5) "Presidential elector certifying official" shall mean the state official or body that is authorized to certify the appointment of the state's presidential electors.

(6) "Presidential slate" shall mean a slate of two persons, the first of whom has been nominated as a candidate for President of the United States and the second of whom has been nominated as a candidate for Vice President of the United States, or any legal successors to such persons, regardless of whether both names appear on the ballot presented to the voter in a particular state.

(7) "State" shall mean a state of the United States and the District of Columbia; and

(8) "Statewide popular election" shall mean a general election in which votes are cast for presidential slates by individual voters and counted on a statewide basis. (Added 2011, No. 10, § 1.)

 

Sub-Chapter 2: Nomination By Party Committee

§ 2801. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Candidate" means an individual who has taken affirmative action to become a candidate for state, county, local, or legislative office in a primary, special, general, or local election. An affirmative action shall include one or more of the following:

(A) accepting contributions or making expenditures totaling $500.00 or more; or

(B) filing the requisite petition for nomination under this title or being nominated by primary or caucus; or

(C) announcing that he or she seeks an elected position as a state, county, or local officer or a position as representative or senator in the general assembly.

(2) "Contribution" means a payment, distribution, advance, deposit, loan, or gift of money or anything of value, paid or promised to be paid to a person for the purpose of influencing an election, advocating a position on a public question, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates in any election, but shall not include services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate, political committee, or political party. For purposes of this chapter, "contribution" shall not include a personal loan from a lending institution.

(3) "Expenditure" means a payment, disbursement, distribution, advance, deposit, loan, or gift of money or anything of value, paid or promised to be paid, for the purpose of influencing an election, advocating a position on a public question, or supporting or opposing one or more candidates.

(4) "Political committee" or "political action committee" means any formal or informal committee of two or more individuals, or a corporation, labor organization, public interest group, or other entity, not including a political party, which receives contributions of more than $500.00 and makes expenditures of more than $500.00 in any one calendar year for the purpose of supporting or opposing one or more candidates, influencing an election, or advocating a position on a public question in any election or affecting the outcome of an election.

(5) "Political party" means a political party organized under chapter 45 of this title or any committee established, financed, maintained or controlled by the party, including any subsidiary, branch, or local unit thereof and including national or regional affiliates of the party.

(6) "Single source" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, labor organization or any other organization, or group of persons which is not a political committee or political party.

(7) "Election" means the procedure whereby the voters of this state or any of its political subdivisions select a person to be a candidate for public office or fill a public office, or to act on public questions including voting on constitutional amendments. Each primary, general, special, run-off, or local election shall constitute a separate election.

(8) "Public question" means an issue that is before the voters for a binding decision.

(9) "Two-year general election cycle" means the 24-month period that begins 38 days after a general election. Expenditures related to a previous campaign and contributions to retire a debt of a previous campaign shall be attributed to the earlier campaign cycle.

(10) "Full name" means an individual's full first name, middle name or initial, if any, and full legal last name, making the identity of the person who made the contribution apparent by unambiguous reference.

(11) "Telephone bank" means more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature that are made to the general public within any 30-day period. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; amended 1987, No. 263 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 64, § 5, eff. Nov. 4, 1998; 2005, No. 62, § 1.)

§ 2801a. Exceptions

The definitions of "contribution," "expenditure," and "electioneering communication" shall not apply to any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication which has not been paid for, or such facilities are not owned or controlled, by any political party, committee, or candidate. (Added 2005, No. 62, § 2.)

§ 2802. Checking account; treasurer

Candidates who have made expenditures or received contributions of $500.00 or more and political committees shall be subject to the following requirements:

(1) All expenditures shall be paid by either a credit card, or a debit card, check, or other electronic transfer from a single checking account in a single bank publicly designated by the candidate or political committee.

(2) Each candidate and each political committee shall name a treasurer, who may be the candidate or spouse, who is responsible for maintaining the checking account. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; amended 2005, No. 62, § 3.)

§ 2803. Campaign reports; forms; filing

(a) The secretary of state shall prescribe and provide a uniform reporting form for all campaign finance reports. The reporting form shall be designed to show the following information:

(1) the full name, town of residence, and mailing address of each contributor who contributes an amount in excess of $100.00, the date of the contribution, and the amount contributed;

(2) the total amount of all contributions of $100.00 or less and the total number of all such contributions;

(3) each expenditure listed by amount, date, to whom paid, and for what purpose;

(4) the amount contributed or loaned by the candidate to his or her own campaign during the reporting period; and

(5) each debt or other obligation, listed by amount, date incurred, to whom owed and for what purpose, incurred during the reporting period.

(b) The form shall require the reporting of all contributions and expenditures accepted or spent during the reporting period and during the campaign to date and shall require full disclosure of the manner in which any indebtedness is discharged or forgiven. Contributions and expenditures for the reporting period and for the campaign to date also shall be totaled in an appropriate place on the form. The total of contributions shall include a subtotal of nonmonetary contributions and a subtotal of all monetary contributions. The form shall contain a list of the required filing times so that the person filing may designate for which time period the filing is made. Contributions and expenditures received or spent after 5 p.m. on the third day prior to the filing deadline shall be reported on the next report.

(c) The form described in this section shall contain language of certification of the truth of the statements and places for the signature of the candidate or the treasurer of the campaign.

(d) All reports filed under this section shall be retained in an indexed file by the official with whom the report is filed and shall be subject to the examination of any person.

(e) Disclosure shall be limited to the information required to administer this chapter.

(f) The secretary may require that the form set forth in this section and mass media reports required under section 2893 of this title be filed in a digital format. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; amended 1985, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 14, 15; 1987, No. 263 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1997, No. 64, § 11, eff. Nov. 4, 1998; 2005, No. 62, § 4; 2009, No. 17, § 1.)

§ 2804. Surplus campaign funds

(a) No member of a political committee which has surplus funds after all campaign debts have been paid shall convert the surplus to personal use.

(b) No candidate who has surplus funds after all campaign debts have been paid shall convert the surplus to personal use, other than to reduce personal campaign debts.

(c) Surplus funds in a political committee's or candidate's account after payment of all campaign debts may be contributed to other candidates, political parties, or political committees subject to the contribution limits set forth in this chapter or may be contributed to a charity.

(d) The "final report" of a candidate shall indicate the amount of the surplus and how it has been or is to be liquidated. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; amended 2005, No. 62, § 5.)

§ 2805. Limitations of contributions

(a) A candidate for state representative or local office shall not accept contributions totaling more than $200.00 from a single source, political committee, or political party in any two-year general election cycle. A candidate for state senator or county office shall not accept contributions totaling more than $300.00 from a single source, political committee, or political party in any two-year general election cycle. A candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of accounts, or attorney general shall not accept contributions totaling more than $400.00 from a single source, political committee, or political party in any two-year general election cycle. A political committee, other than a political committee of a candidate, or a political party shall not accept contributions totaling more than $2,000.00 from a single source, political committee, or political party in any two-year general election cycle.

(b) A single source, political committee, or political party shall not contribute more to a candidate, political committee, or political party than the candidate, political committee, or political party is permitted to accept under subsection (a) of this section.

(c) A candidate, political party, or political committee shall not accept, in any two-year general election cycle, more than 25 percent of total contributions from contributors who are not residents of the state of Vermont or from political committees or parties not organized in the state of Vermont.

(d) A candidate shall not accept a monetary contribution in excess of $50.00 unless made by check, credit or debit card, or other electronic transfer.

(e) A candidate, political party, or political committee shall not knowingly accept a contribution which is not directly from the contributor, but was transferred to the contributor by another person for the purpose of transferring the same to the candidate, or otherwise circumventing the provisions of this chapter. It shall be a violation of this chapter for a person to make a contribution with the explicit or implicit understanding that the contribution will be transferred in violation of this subsection.

(f) This section shall not be interpreted to limit the amount a candidate or his or her immediate family may contribute to his or her own campaign. For purposes of this subsection, "immediate family" means individuals related to the candidate in the first, second, or third degree of consanguinity.

(g) The limitations on contributions established by this section shall not apply to contributions made for the purpose of advocating a position on a public question, including a constitutional amendment.

(h) For purposes of this section, the term "candidate" includes the candidate's political committee. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; amended 1987, No. 263 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; 1997, No. 64, § 6, eff. Nov. 4, 1998; 2005, No. 62, § 6.)

§ 2805a. Campaign expenditure limitations; amounts

(a) The following campaign expenditure limitations shall apply to all candidates, for all primary, general, and local elections, whether or not a candidate accepts Vermont campaign finance grants under subchapter 6 of this chapter, is financing his or her campaign from private contributions, or from the candidate's own resources or that of his or her immediate family.

(1) A candidate for governor shall limit campaign expenditures to no more than $300,000.00 in any two-year general election cycle.

(2) A candidate for lieutenant governor shall limit campaign expenditures to no more than $100,000.00 in any two-year general election cycle.

(3) A candidate for secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of accounts, or attorney general shall limit campaign expenditures to no more than $45,000.00 in any two-year general election cycle.

(4) A candidate for state senator or county office shall limit campaign expenditures to no more than $4,000.00 plus, in the case of state senator, an additional $2,500.00 for each additional seat in the senate district, in any two-year general election cycle.

(5) A candidate for state representative in a single-member district shall limit campaign expenditures to no more than $2,000.00, and in a two-member district to no more than $3,000.00, in any two-year general election cycle.

(b) Recognizing the jurisdiction of the Congress of the United States to enact expenditure limitations and campaign finance reforms for candidates for federal office, the general assembly of the state of Vermont expects candidates for the United States House of Representatives and Senate to observe the contribution and expenditure limitations that apply to candidates for the office of governor.

(c) If a candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of accounts, or attorney general is an incumbent of the office being sought, the candidate shall be permitted to expend only 85 percent of the amount allowed for that office under this section. If a candidate for the general assembly is an incumbent of the office being sought, the candidate shall be permitted to expend only 90 percent of the amount allowed for that office under this section.

(d) For purposes of this section, the term "candidate" includes the candidate's political committee.

(e) The expenditure limitations contained in this section shall be adjusted for inflation by increasing them based on the Consumer Price Index. Increases shall be rounded up to the nearest $100.00. Increases shall be effective for the first campaign cycle beginning after the general election held on November 2, 2004. The adjustments shall be calculated retroactively to January 1, 2001. On or before July 1, 2005, the secretary of state shall calculate and publish the amount of each limitation that will apply to the election cycle in which July 1, 2005, falls. On July 1 of each subsequent odd-numbered year the secretary shall publish the amount of each limitation for the election cycle in which that publication falls. (Added 1997, No. 64, § 7, eff. Nov. 4, 1998; amended 2005, No. 62, § 7.)

 

Sub-Chapter 3: Independent Candidates

§ 2806. Penalties

(a) A person who knowingly and intentionally violates a provision of subchapters 2 through 4 of this chapter shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

(b) A person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000.00 for each violation and shall refund the unspent balance of Vermont campaign finance grants received, if any, calculated as of the date of the violation.

(c) In addition to the other penalties herein provided, a state's attorney or the attorney general may institute any appropriate action, injunction, or other proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct, or abate any violation of this chapter. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1993; 1997, No. 64, § 3.)

§ 2806a. Civil investigation

(a) The attorney general or a state's attorney, whenever he or she has reason to believe any person to be or to have been in violation of this chapter or of any rule or regulation made pursuant to this chapter, may examine or cause to be examined by any agent or representative designated by him or her for that purpose any books, records, papers, memoranda, and physical objects of any nature bearing upon each alleged violation and may demand written responses under oath to questions bearing upon each alleged violation. The attorney general or state's attorney may require the attendance of such person or of any other person having knowledge in the premises in the county where such person resides or has a place of business or in Washington County if such person is a nonresident or has no place of business within the state and may take testimony and require proof material for his or her information and may administer oaths or take acknowledgment in respect of any book, record, paper, or memorandum. The attorney general or a state's attorney shall serve notice of the time, place, and cause of such examination or attendance or notice of the cause of the demand for written responses personally or by certified mail upon such person at his or her principal place of business, or, if such place is not known, to his or her last known address. Any book, record, paper, memorandum, or other information produced by any person pursuant to this section shall not, unless otherwise ordered by a court of this state for good cause shown, be disclosed to any person other than the authorized agent or representative of the attorney general or a state's attorney or another law enforcement officer engaged in legitimate law enforcement activities, unless with the consent of the person producing the same. This subsection shall not be applicable to any criminal investigation or prosecution brought under the laws of this or any state.

(b) A person upon whom a notice is served pursuant to the provisions of this section shall comply with the terms thereof unless otherwise provided by the order of a court of this state. Any person who, with intent to avoid, evade, or prevent compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigation under this section, removes from any place, conceals, withholds, or destroys, mutilates, alters, or by any other means falsifies any documentary material in the possession, custody, or control of any person subject to such notice, or mistakes or conceals any information, shall be fined not more than $5,000.00.

(c) Whenever any person fails to comply with any notice served upon him or her under this section or whenever satisfactory copying or reproduction of any such material cannot be done and such person refuses to surrender such material, the attorney general or a state's attorney may file, in the superior court in which such person resides or has his or her principal place of business or in Washington County if such person is a nonresident or has no principal place of business in this state, and serve upon such person a petition for an order of such court for the enforcement of this section. Whenever any petition is filed under this section, such court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter so presented and to enter such order or orders as may be required to carry into effect the provisions of this section. Any disobedience of any order entered under this section by any court shall be punished as a contempt thereof.

(d) Any person aggrieved by a civil investigation conducted under this section may seek relief from Washington superior court or the superior court in the county in which the aggrieved person resides. Except for cases the court considers to be of greater importance, proceedings before superior court as authorized by this section shall take precedence on the docket over all other cases. (Added 2005, No. 62, § 8.)

§ 2807. New campaign accounts

Candidates who choose to roll over any surplus contributions into a new campaign account for public office may close out their former campaign by filing a final report with the secretary of state converting all debts and assets to the new campaign. A candidate shall be required to file a new bank designation form only if there has been a change in the treasurer or the location of the campaign account. (Added 1987, No. 263 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2005, No. 62, § 9.)

§ 2808. Repealed. 2005, No. 62, § 14.

 

Sub-Chapter 4: Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 2809. Accountability for related expenditures

(a) A related campaign expenditure made on a candidate's behalf shall be considered a contribution to the candidate on whose behalf it was made.

(b) A related campaign expenditure made on a candidate's behalf shall be considered an expenditure by the candidate on whose behalf it was made. However, if the expenditure did not exceed $50.00, the expenditure shall not be considered an expenditure by the candidate on whose behalf it was made.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a "related campaign expenditure made on the candidate's behalf" means any expenditure intended to promote the election of a specific candidate or group of candidates, or the defeat of an opposing candidate or group of candidates, if intentionally facilitated by, solicited by, or approved by the candidate or the candidate's political committee.

(d) An expenditure made by a political party or by a political committee that recruits or endorses candidates, that primarily benefits six or fewer candidates who are associated with the political party or political committee making the expenditure, is presumed to be a related expenditure made on behalf of those candidates. An expenditure made by a political party or by a political committee that recruits or endorses candidates, that substantially benefits more than six candidates and facilitates party or political committee functions, voter turnout, platform promotion, or organizational capacity shall not be presumed to be a related expenditure made on a candidate's behalf. In addition, an expenditure shall not be considered a "related campaign expenditure made on the candidate's behalf" if all of the following apply:

(1) The expenditures were made in connection with a campaign event whose purpose was to provide a group of voters with the opportunity to meet the candidate personally.

(2) The expenditures were made only for refreshments and related supplies that were consumed at that event.

(3) The amount of the expenditures for the event was less than $100.00.

(e) A candidate may seek a determination that an expenditure is a related expenditure made on behalf of an opposing candidate by filing a petition with the superior court of the county in which either candidate resides. Within 24 hours of the filing of a petition, the court shall schedule the petition for hearing. Except as to cases the court considers of greater importance, proceedings before the superior court, as authorized by this section, and appeals therefrom, take precedence on the docket over all cases and shall be assigned for hearing and trial or for argument at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way. The findings and determination of the court shall be prima facie evidence in any proceedings brought for violation of this chapter.

(f) The secretary of state may adopt rules necessary to administer the provisions of this section. (Added 1997, No. 64, § 8, eff. Nov. 4, 1998.)

§ 2810. Candidate information publication; on-line database

(a) For each two-year general election cycle, the secretary of state shall develop and continuously update a publicly accessible campaign database. The database shall contain at least the following information for all candidates for statewide and county office and for the general assembly: for candidates receiving public financing grants, the amount of each grant awarded; the information contained in campaign finance reports filed under this chapter; and all reports of mass media activity expenditures filed under section 2883 of this title. The database shall also include campaign finance reports filed by candidates for federal office. The information in the database, together with any biographical sketches and position statements submitted to the secretary of state by such candidates, shall be made available to the public through the Vermont state home page on-line service, or through printed reports from the secretary in response to a public request within 14 days of the date of the request.

(b) Any candidate for statewide office and any candidate for federal office qualified to be on the ballot in this state may submit to the secretary of state a photograph, biographical sketch, and position statement of a length and format specified by the secretary for the purposes of preparing a candidate information publication. Without making changes in the material presented, the secretary shall prepare a candidate information publication for statewide distribution prior to the general election, which includes the candidates' photographs, biographies, and position statements, a brief explanation of the process used to obtain candidate submissions, and, with respect to offices for which public financing is available, an indication of which candidates are receiving Vermont campaign finance grants and which candidates are not receiving Vermont campaign finance grants. The secretary shall prepare, publish, and distribute the candidate information publication throughout the state no later than one week prior to the general election. The secretary shall also seek voluntary distribution of the candidate information publication in weekly and daily newspapers and other publications in the state. The candidate information publication shall also be available in large type, audiotape, and Internet versions. (Added 1997, No. 64, § 9, eff. Nov. 4, 1998.)

§ 2810a. Administration

The secretary of state shall administer this chapter and shall perform all duties required under this chapter. The secretary may employ or contract for the services of persons necessary for performance of these duties. (Added 1997, No. 64, § 10.)

 

Sub-Chapter 5: Presidential Nominations

§ 2811. Campaign reports; candidates for state office, the general assembly, political committees, and political parties

(a) Each candidate for state office, each candidate for the general assembly who has made expenditures or received contributions of $500.00 or more, and each political committee and each political party required to register under section 2831 of this title shall file with the secretary of state campaign finance reports on July 15th and on the 15th of each month thereafter until and including December 15th.

(b) At any time, but not later than December 15th following the general election, a candidate for state office and each candidate for the general assembly who has made expenditures or received contributions of $500.00 or more shall file with the secretary of state a "final report" which lists a complete accounting of all contributions and expenditures, and disposition of surplus, and which shall constitute the termination of his or her campaign activities.

(c) A political committee or political party shall file a campaign finance report not later than 40 days following the general election. At any time, a political committee or a political party may file a "final report" which lists a complete accounting of all contributions and expenditures and which shall constitute the termination of its campaign activities.

(d) In odd-numbered years campaign finance reports shall be filed on July 15.

(e) Each candidate for the general assembly required to file campaign finance reports under this section shall also file such reports with the clerk of the candidate's respective senate or house district.

(f) In addition to any other reports required to be filed under this chapter, a candidate for state office or for the general assembly who receives a monetary contribution in an amount over $2,000.00 within 10 days of a primary or general election shall report the contribution to the secretary of state within 24 hours of receiving the contribution. The report shall include all information that is required to be disclosed under the provisions of subsections 2803(a) and (b) of this title.

(g) Each candidate for state office and each candidate for the general assembly who has made expenditures or received contributions of $500.00 or less shall file with the secretary of state, 10 days following the general election, a statement that the candidate has not made expenditures or received contributions of more than $500.00 during the two-year general election cycle. (Added 1981, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. date, see note set out below; amended 1997, No. 64, § 12, eff. Nov. 4, 1998; 2005, No. 62, § 10; 2009, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)