Alabama Act 2021-314 was recently signed into law, which will require all principal campaign committees for municipal candidates to file reports and statements electronically with the Secretary of State's Office, beginning Aug. 1, 2023.
Secretary of State John Merrill made the announcement in a press release Monday.
Previously, all candidates for municipal office filed campaign statements and reports for principal campaign committees with the probate dudge in the county in which the office was sought.
“Running for municipal office in cities which span multiple counties can be especially burdensome on candidates and those looking to access campaign finance documents,” stated the bill's sponsor, state Rep. Andy Whitt. R-Harvest. “This legislation will streamline the filing process and greatly increase transparency in our elections.”
In addition, filings that did not exceed a certain monetary amount were not required to be filed electronically.
Merrill said, “By utilizing one centralized database, candidates and voters alike will be able to more easily track information. Our office is excited to offer this one-stop shop for campaign finance documents, and we appreciate the diligent work of Representative Whitt and probate judges across the state, as well as the full cooperation and endorsement from the Alabama League of Municipalities."
A system for filing required campaign finance documents is already maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office, which Merrill said would allow for a smooth transition upon the implementation of this bill in 2023.