Follow our best practices and use the checklist to keep in compliance during the post-election period.
The candidate, treasurer, and committee are responsible for responding to all CFB notices during the post-election period and will be held jointly and severally liable for any penalties related to violations of the Campaign Finance Act or CFB Rules. All post-election notices from the CFB will be posted to your C-Access account.
Post-Election Checklist & Best Practices
- File required post-election disclosure statements.
All candidates who were on the primary election ballot must file the 10-day post-primary filing and all candidates who were on the general election ballot must file the 27-day post-general filing. Candidates in special elections must file the 27-day post-special. All candidates are required to submit semiannual disclosure statements every January and July through the audit process and until your campaign has satisfied all outstanding liabilities and appropriately disposed of all assets. Continue to enter all financial activity and file disclosure statements with the CFB using C-SMART.
- Move campaign posters and signs from city property.
New York City Administrative Code §10-119 and §10-120 prohibit the posting of any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker, or other printed material on city-owned property. If someone posted or hung your material on city property, take it down. If you receive notices of violation from the Department of Sanitation, you must disclose the amount of the fines as bills and bill payments in your next disclosure statement. Report the bills even if you are disputing the fines.
- Pay and document outstanding liabilities and report all transactions.
Review your records and ensure that each transaction is entered into C-SMART properly and is accurately disclosed to the CFB. If you have not yet been billed for goods or services received for the election, be proactive: obtain bills, receipts, time sheets, contracts, and all other documents that you are missing for your expenditures. Remember that all paid work for your campaign—including by workers hired by a consultant or vendor on behalf of your campaign—needs to be documented with contracts, invoices, and/or time sheets. (See Chapter 3 of the Handbook for more information on documenting campaign expenditures.)
Promptly pay all outstanding liabilities. You must enter bills in C-SMART even if they have not yet been paid. Report all bills and bill payments when you file your post-election Disclosure Statements. Any outstanding liabilities that are not reported timely will not be considered for the purposes of a potential post-election public funds payment.
- Obtain subcontractor disclosure forms.
If you paid any individual vendor more than $5,000 over the course of your campaign, have the vendor(s) complete a subcontractor disclosure form. If the vendor paid an individual subcontractor over $5,000 during the course of your campaign, ensure the vendor includes the name, address, services provided, and cost of services provided for each subcontractor. You must enter the details in C-SMART and submit the disclosure with your next disclosure statement filing.
- Close your campaign office(s).
Close your campaign office(s) and wind down all operations. This includes terminating your lease agreement and canceling utility services, such as phone, Internet, electricity, and website hosting, within 30 days from election day.
Sell your campaign’s durable goods (such as office furniture and equipment) and deposit the proceeds from the sale into your committee’s bank account. Maintain documentation for each sale, including documentation of fair market value, and enter the transaction as an other receipt in C-SMART.
- Close your committee’s bank account(s).
If you have reconciled all activity with the CFB, do not have any remaining funds in your committee’s bank account(s), and have paid all liabilities, close the account(s). The longer your committee’s bank account remains open, the more bank fees you might accrue. You could end up being responsible for a negative balance. Prior to closing your committee’s bank account, be sure to obtain all bank records (bank statements, fronts and backs of canceled committee checks, and deposit slips).
ATTENTION PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS: If your campaign received public funds, all remaining funds in the committee bank account are considered public funds (up to the amount of public funds received) and must be returned to the CFB. If there is money left in the committee’s bank account after winding down and paying all liabilities, you should write a check payable to the “New York City Election Campaign Finance Fund” for the full amount of remaining funds by December 31 in the year of the election. Once your final bank balance is submitted to the Public Fund, it cannot be returned, and your campaign would be ineligible for a post-election public funds payment.
- Stay organized and secure your records.
Use the documentation labels provided by the CFB to stay organized. The labels were designed specifically for the post-election audit process. Keep originals of all campaign documentation, in addition to a set of legible copies. Under rare circumstances, the CFB may request originals. CFB Rules require you to maintain all records for six (6) years after the election or until your campaign has satisfied all outstanding liabilities and appropriately disposed of all assets and terminates with the CFB, whichever is later. .
Keep in touch with your campaign staff who were responsible for compliance and C-SMART. The candidate and treasurer, as well as the committee, are responsible for the campaign’s compliance throughout the post-election audit process. You should create a plan for maintaining and safeguarding all committee records, including your C-SMART encryption key. Ensure that all records and documentation are kept in a secure location, but more than one person should have access to the files.
As during the campaign, be sure to assign responsibilities and maintain strong internal controls so that your campaign can respond to post-election audit requests promptly and completely.
- Stay in touch with the CFB.
Throughout the post-election audit process, the CFB will be in touch with you. Continue to monitor the CFB Portal and respond to all notifications. Please ensure that the contact information for the candidate, treasurer, and committee that the CFB has on file remains current. If there are any changes to the contact information or the location of your records, update your committee information with the CFB using the Online Registration system.
If your campaign received public funds, you are permitted to make limited post-election expenditures to wind down your campaign and respond to the CFB’s post-election audit.
Permitted post-election expenditures include:
- payment of rent and outstanding utility bills within 30 days;
- payment of taxes and other reasonable expenses for compliance with applicable tax laws;
- payment of interest on loans;
- reasonable payment of staff salaries;
- reasonable moving expenses related to closing the campaign office;
- thank you notes to contributors, staff, and volunteers;
- a single post-election event for staff, volunteers, and/or supporters held within 30 days of the election;
- a holiday card mailing to contributors, campaign volunteers, and staff;
Prohibited post-election expenditures include:
- post-election mailings other than those mentioned above;
- contributions to other campaigns, organizations, or clubs;
- bonuses or gifts to staff or volunteers (unless previously agreed upon in a contract signed at the time of hiring);
- computer hardware, software, or other technology;
- spending for transition and inaugural activities
You must maintain contemporaneous, detailed documentation of post-election expenditures and submit these documents to the CFB with your post-election disclosure statements.
If you were a participant of the Campaign Finance Program and did not receive the maximum amount of public funds, you may be eligible to receive a post-election public funds payment. Not every campaign will qualify; post-election payments depend on more factors than pre-election payments. Only campaigns meeting all of the criteria will be considered for a post-election public funds payment.
Note: If you were not running for an open seat and did not submit an acceptable Certified Statement of Need for Additional Public Funds, the public funds you were able to receive were capped at 25% of the maximum allowable. The cap stands towards the potential post-election public funds payment.
- be in compliance,
- meet the two-part threshold,
- be on the ballot and opposed by another candidate on the ballot.
- meet the pre-election eligibility criteria, and
- have outstanding liabilities to vendors that are continuing to seek payment that have been reported and documented properly,
- have calculated outstanding liabilities, taking into account your final bank balance,
- have qualified expenditures equal to, or greater than, the total of pre- and post-election public funds payments, or
- have remaining valid matching claims on which public funds were not paid.*
Note: If you received public funds prior to the election, you must first document all qualified expenditures up to the amount of public funds you received.
* Your campaign may continue to raise matchable contributions until December 31 of the election year, adhering to all limits and requirements for the election cycle. These contributions must be entered into C-SMART, claimed for match, and reported timely in the applicable disclosure statement.
Your Draft Audit Report will contain information related to any possible payment or repayment. You must satisfactorily resolve all findings in the Draft Audit Report before receiving a post-election payment. You may be eligible to receive a public funds payment amount up to the applicable cap if the CFB determines your campaign has met all of the required criteria.