About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

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While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

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Statute Text

ati536876.tmp
Article - Election Law
§13–306.  
(a)    (1)   In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2)    (i)   “Donation” means the gift or transfer, or promise of gift or transfer, of money or other thing of value to a person who makes independent expenditures.
(ii)   “Donation” does not include any amount of money or any other thing of value:
1.   received by a person in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the person, whether for profit or not for profit, or in the form of investments in the person’s business; or
2.    A.    that the donor and the person receiving the money or thing of value expressly agree in writing may not be used for independent expenditures; and
B.    in the case of a monetary donation, is deposited in a separate bank account that is never used for independent expenditures.
(3)   “E–mail blast” means a transmission of electronic mail messages of an identical or substantially similar nature to 5,000 or more e–mail accounts simultaneously.
(4)   “Mass mailing” means a mailing by United States mail or facsimile of more than 500 pieces of mail matter of an identical or substantially similar nature within any 30–day period.
(5)    (i)   “Person” includes an individual, a partnership, a committee, an association, a corporation, a labor organization, or any other organization or group of persons.
(ii)   “Person” does not include a campaign finance entity organized under Subtitle 2, Part II of this title.
(6)    (i)   “Public communication” means a communication by means of any broadcast television or radio communication, cable television communication, satellite television or radio communication, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, mass mailing, e–mail blast, text blast, or telephone bank to the general public, or any other form of general public political advertising.
(ii)   “Public communication” does not include:
1.   a news story, a commentary, or an editorial disseminated by a broadcasting station, including a cable television operator, programmer, or producer, satellite television or radio provider, Web site, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, including any Internet or electronic publication, that is not controlled by a candidate or political party;
2.   an internal membership communication by a business or other entity to its stockholders or members and executive and administrative personnel and their immediate families, or by a membership entity, as defined under § 13–243 of this title, to its members, executive and administrative personnel and their immediate families; or
3.   a candidate debate or forum.
(7)   “Telephone bank” means more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature within any 30–day period.
(8)   “Text blast” means a transmission of text messages of an identical or substantially similar nature to 5,000 or more telephone numbers simultaneously.
(b)   Within 48 hours after a person makes aggregate independent expenditures of $5,000 or more in an election cycle for campaign material that is a public communication, the person shall file a registration form with the State Board.
(c)   Within 48 hours after a day on which a person makes aggregate independent expenditures of $10,000 or more in an election cycle for campaign material that is a public communication, the person shall file an independent expenditure report with the State Board.
(d)   A person who files an independent expenditure report under subsection (c) of this section shall file an additional independent expenditure report with the State Board within 48 hours after a day on which the person makes aggregate independent expenditures of $10,000 or more for campaign material that is a public communication following the closing date of the person’s previous independent expenditure report.
(e)   An independent expenditure report shall include the following information:
(1)   the identity of the person making the independent expenditures and of the person exercising direction or control over the activities of the person making the independent expenditures;
(2)   the business address of the person making the independent expenditures;
(3)   the amount and date of each independent expenditure during the period covered by the report and the person to whom the expenditure was made;
(4)   the candidate or ballot issue to which the independent expenditure relates and whether the independent expenditure supports or opposes that candidate or ballot issue; and
(5)   the identity of each person who made cumulative donations of $6,000 or more to the person making the independent expenditures during the period covered by the report.
(f)   For purposes of this section, a person shall be considered to have made an independent expenditure if the person has executed a contract to make an independent expenditure.
(g)   The cost of creating and disseminating campaign material, including any design and production costs, shall be considered in determining the aggregate amount of independent expenditures made by a person for campaign material that is a public communication under this section.
(h)   The treasurer or other individual designated by an entity required to file an independent expenditure report under this section:
(1)   shall sign each independent expenditure report; and
(2)   is responsible for filing independent expenditure reports in full and accurate detail.
(i)    (1)   Within 48 hours after a person makes aggregate independent expenditures of $50,000 or more in an election cycle for campaign material that is a public communication, the person shall identify a registered agent located in the State for service of process.
(2)   A person making independent expenditures shall identify a registered agent on a form prescribed by the State Board.
(j)    (1)   A person who fails to provide on an independent expenditure report all of the information required by this section shall file an amended report as provided in § 13–327(b) of this subtitle.
(2)    (i)   Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, in addition to any other sanction provided by law, the State Board may assess a civil penalty for failure to file properly an independent expenditure report or an amended independent expenditure report in an amount not exceeding the greater of:
1.   $1,000 for each day or part of a day that an independent expenditure report or amended independent expenditure report is overdue; or
2.   10% of the amount of the donations or independent expenditures that were not reported in a timely manner.
(ii)   If the failure to file properly an independent expenditure report or an amended independent expenditure report occurs more than 28 days before the day of a primary or general election, the State Board may assess a civil penalty in an amount not exceeding the greater of:
1.   $100 for each day or part of a day that an independent expenditure report or amended independent expenditure report is overdue; or
2.   10% of the amount of the donations or disbursements for independent expenditures that were not reported in a timely manner.
(3)   A civil penalty under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be:
(i)   assessed in the manner specified in § 13–604.1 of this title;
(ii)   distributed to the Fair Campaign Financing Fund established under § 15–103 of this article; and
(iii)   the joint and several liability of:
1.   the person making independent expenditures;
2.   the treasurer or other individual who signs and files the reports required by this section for the person making independent expenditures; and
3.   the person exercising direction or control over the activities of the person making independent expenditures.
(4)   A person who fails to file properly an independent expenditure report or amended independent expenditure report under this section may seek relief from a penalty under paragraph (2) of this subsection for just cause as provided in § 13–337 of this subtitle.
(k)   If a treasurer of a person making independent expenditures or a person exercising direction or control over the activities of a person making independent expenditures has failed to pay any civil penalty or late fee under this title for which the individual is responsible, the individual may not:
(1)   serve as the responsible officer of a political committee;
(2)   serve in any position of responsibility in any other entity subject to regulation under this title; or
(3)   assist in the formation of a political committee or any other entity subject to regulation under this title.
(l)    (1)   An entity required to file an independent expenditure report under this section shall do at least one of the following, unless neither are applicable to the entity:
(i)   if the entity submits regular, periodic reports to its shareholders, members, or donors, include in each report, in a clear and conspicuous manner, the information specified in subsection (e)(3) through (5) of this section for each independent expenditure made during the period covered by the report that must be included in an independent expenditure report; or
(ii)   if the entity maintains an Internet site, post on that Internet site a hyperlink from its homepage to the Internet site where the entity’s independent expenditure report information is publicly available.
(2)   An entity shall post the hyperlink required under paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection within 24 hours of the entity’s independent expenditure report information being made publicly available on the Internet, and the hyperlink shall remain posted on the entity’s Internet site until the end of the election cycle during which the entity filed an independent expenditure report.
(m)    (1)   A person required to file an independent expenditure report under this section shall keep detailed and accurate records of:
(i)   all independent expenditures made by the person for campaign material that is a public communication; and
(ii)   all donations received by the person.
(2)   Records required to be kept under this subsection shall be preserved for 2 years after the end of the election cycle in which the person filed the independent expenditure report to which the records relate.
(n)   The State Board may adopt regulations as necessary to implement the requirements of this section.