Letters go out to candidates over contribution reports | NevadaAppeal.com

Letters go out to candidates over contribution reports

The secretary of state’s office this week mailed the first round of letters to candidates who were late or failed to file their first campaign contribution and expense reports.

A total of 13 of the 30 people on the list were candidates for district court judgeships.

Most of the rest were candidates for Assembly seats.

Under Nevada law, three reports are required from each candidate. The first was due Aug. 5. Some simply filed a day or two late, getting them a $25 a day penalty. But after a week or so, the fine rises to $100 a day. The fines can reach a total of $5,000 for each report.

For those who failed to file the August report, the fines were up to $4,775 as of Wednesday.

A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said there are undoubtedly more candidates out there because the only counties which have sent in their lists of reports are Clark and Elko. The office has its own records for candidates who seek multi-county offices since they file with the secretary of state.

The other 15 county clerks have not yet gotten the data to the state.

The second report is due Oct. 28 and the third Jan. 15.

Elections Division officials say the first letters advise the candidates to file immediately and pay the fine they owe or include a written request for a waiver. Waivers, however, can only be granted for cause, and Secretary of State Ross Miller has the authority to decide whether the reason given justifies waiving the penalties.

A second letter will go out to those who don’t respond to the first in about two weeks, warning that failure to respond will result in the case being turned over to the attorney general. Those who still choose to ignore the letters will get their next letter from the attorney general, including a deadline to report and pay or face a district court judge.

Several candidates in past elections argued they were fighting the reporting requirement on philosophical, religious and constitutional grounds. Some of them, several members of the Independent American Party, were fined the full $15,000 ” $5,000 apiece for each of three reports required by law.

Most of those individuals decided to file and fill out their paperwork as required this year.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.