163-278.12. Special reporting of contributions and independent expenditures.

(a) Subject to G.S. 163-278.39 and G.S. 163-278.14, individuals and other entities not otherwise prohibited from doing so may make independent expenditures. In the event an individual, person, or other entity making independent expenditures but not otherwise required to report them makes independent expenditures in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00), that individual, person, or entity shall file a statement of such independent expenditure with the appropriate board of elections in the manner prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

(b) Any person or entity other than an individual that is permitted to make contributions but is not otherwise required to report them shall report each contribution in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00) with the appropriate board of elections in the manner prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

(c) In assuring compliance with subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the State Board of Elections shall require the identification of each person or entity making a donation of more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) to the entity filing the report if the donation was made to further the reported independent expenditure or contribution. If the donor is an individual, the statement shall also contain the principal occupation of the donor. The "principal occupation of the donor" shall mean the same as the "principal occupation of the contributor" in G.S. 163-278.11.

(d) Contributions or independent expenditures required to be reported under this section shall be reported within 30 days after they exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) or 10 days before an election the contributions or independent expenditures affect, whichever occurs earlier.

(e) The State Board of Elections shall require subsequent reporting of independent expenditures according to the same schedule required of political committees under G.S. 163-278.9(a). An individual or person that makes an independent expenditure shall disclose by report to the State Board of Elections within 48 hours of incurring an expense of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or more or receiving a donation of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more for making an independent expenditure before an election but after the period covered by the last report due before that election.

(f) For the purposes of subsection (c) of this section, a donation to the person or entity making the independent expenditure is deemed to have been donated to further the independent expenditure if any of subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection apply. For purposes of this subsection, the "filer" is the person or entity making the independent expenditure and responsible for filing the report, or an agent of that person or entity. For purposes of this subsection, the "donor" is the person or entity donating to the filer the funds or other thing of value, or an agent of that person or entity.

(1) The donor designates, requests, or suggests that the donation be used for an independent expenditure or for multiple independent expenditures, and the filer agrees to use the donation for an independent expenditure.

(2) The filer expressly solicited the donor for a donation for making or paying for an independent expenditure.

(3) The donor and the filer engaged in substantial written or oral discussion regarding the donor's making, donating, or paying for an independent expenditure.

(4) The donor or the filer knew or had reason to know of the filer's intent to make independent expenditures with the donation.

A donation shall not be deemed to be made to further an independent expenditure if the donation was a commercial transaction occurring in the ordinary course of business between the donor and the filer unless there is affirmative evidence that the amounts were donated to further an independent expenditure. In determining the amount of a donation that was made to further any particular independent expenditure, there shall be excluded any amount that was designated by the donor with respect to a different election than the election that is the subject of the independent expenditure covered by the report.

Subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection shall also apply to reports made under subsection (c) of this section concerning contributions. However, nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit the effect of the prohibition on making contributions in the name of another in G.S. 163-278.14.

(g) All reports required by this section shall be filed according to rules adopted by the State Board of Elections. If the expense incurred is greater than five thousand dollars ($5,000), the report shall be filed electronically. The State Board of Elections shall provide the software necessary to file the electronic report to any individual or person required to file an electronic report at no cost to that individual or person. (1973, c. 1272, s. 1; 1979, c. 107, s. 15; c. 1073, s. 20; 1999-31, s. 2(d); 2004-127, s. 16; 2010-170, s. 2.)