conditions, expenditures for slate cards and other candidate listings fall
within the scope of
therefore, exempt from contribution limits and eligible for payment with a bona
fide political party's exempt funds. Slate cards and other candidate listings
remain reportable under chapter 42.17A RCW and subject to the political
advertising provisions of the act.
The purpose of this exemption from the contribution limits is
to allow political parties, political committees, and other sponsors to tell
the general public which candidates they support. The exemption is not intended
as a device to circumvent the contribution limits and full reporting
means slate cards, or other candidate listings,
whether written or oral, that satisfy the qualifying criteria specified in
subsection (10) of this section.
Sample ballots constitute political advertising for a slate or
list of candidates and must include sponsor identification and otherwise be in
compliance with the provisions of
(a) A bona fide political party may use
contributions it receives pursuant to
42.17A.405(15) to produce
and distribute sample ballots.
Expenditures for sample ballots do not count against a bona fide political
party's contribution limit to the candidates listed on the sample ballot.
Further, when reporting sample ballot expenditures, a bona fide political party
is not required to attribute a portion of the expenditure to each of the
candidates listed on the sample ballot, but the names of the candidates must be
reported along with the other information required by chapter 42.17A RCW and
Any person, as defined by
42.17A.005, who makes an expenditure for
sample ballots has made an expenditure that does not count against that
person's contribution limit to the candidates listed.
An in-state political committee, when
disclosing expenditures for sample ballots as part of its C-4 report, is not
required to attribute a portion of the expenditure to the candidates listed on
the sample ballot, but the names of the candidates and their respective party
affiliations must be reported along with other information required by chapter
42.17A RCW and chapter 390-17
(6) An out-of-state committee, when
disclosing expenditures for sample ballots on a C-5 report, is not required to
attribute a portion of the expenditure to the candidates listed on the sample
ballot, but must report that an expenditure for sample ballots was made, the
name and address of the person to whom the expenditure was made, the full
amount of the expenditure, and the name, office sought and party affiliation of
each candidate listed on the sample ballot. The report is due no later than the
10th day of the month following the month in which the expenditure was
(7) If a lobbyist or lobbyist
employer makes expenditures for sample ballots, those expenditures are required
to be reported in detail on the lobbyist's monthly L-2 report. Itemization of
these expenditures must include the names and respective party affiliations of
the candidates listed on the sample ballot, but no portion of the expenditure
need be attributed to individual candidates listed on the sample
(8) The candidates listed
on a sample ballot are not required to report any portion of the expenditure as
an in-kind contribution to their campaigns.
Qualifying criteria for sample ballots,
slate cards and other candidate listings. In order not to count against a
person's contribution limit to the candidates listed on a sample ballot and, in
the case of a bona fide political party, in order to be eligible for payment
with contributions received pursuant to
, a sample
ballot must satisfy all of the criteria in (a) through (d) of this subsection.
(a) The sample ballot must list the names of
at least three candidates for election to public office in Washington state and
be distributed in a geographical area where voters are eligible to vote for at
least three candidates listed. The candidate listing may include any
combination of three or more candidates, whether the candidates are seeking
federal, state or local office in Washington.
(b) The sample ballot must not be distributed
through public political advertising; for example, through broadcast media,
newspapers, magazines, billboards or the like. The sample ballot may be
distributed through direct mail, telephone, electronic mail, web sites,
electronic bulletin boards, electronic billboards or personal delivery by
The content of a
sample ballot is limited to:
* The identification of each candidate (pictures may be
* The office or position currently held;
* The office sought;
* Party affiliation; and
* Information about voting hours and locations.
Therefore, the sample ballot must exclude any additional
biographical data on candidates and their positions on issues as well as
statements about the sponsor's philosophy, goals or accomplishments. The list
must also exclude any statements, check marks or other indications showing
support of or opposition to ballot propositions.
(d) The sample ballot is a stand-alone
political advertisement. It must not be a portion of a more comprehensive
message or combined in the same mailing or packet with any other information,
including get-out-the-vote material, candidate brochures, or statements about
the sponsor's philosophy, goals or accomplishments.