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Candidates will not be able to fundraise during the special session

Campaigns will not be allowed to accept campaign contributions during the blackout period.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office pointed out that beginning on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at noon, the Legislature will enter a special legislative session. This means that members of the Legislature, candidates for the Legislature, and statewide officeholders and candidates for statewide office will not be able to accept campaign contributions.

Section 17-5-7(b) of the Code of Alabama provides: “Candidates for legislative and statewide offices and their principal campaign committees may not accept, solicit, or receive contributions during the period in which the Legislature is convened in session.” 

This includes all statewide offices, such as Constitutional Officers, statewide Judicial Officers, the Public Service Commission, and state legislators and includes both the incumbents as well as persons running for state offices.

The 2022 Election blackout period will begin when the Legislature convenes at noon on Sept. 27, 2021, and will continue until the Legislature adjourns sine die. Campaigns should suspend all campaign fundraising activities during the blackout period.

During this period, candidates are encouraged to deactivate any web pages that accept contributions online to avoid inadvertently accepting funds. This fundraising freeze does not apply to officials or candidates for circuit or district judge, district attorney, or other county or local elected positions. It also does not apply to candidates for federal offices such as U.S. Senate or serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Campaign finance for federal offices are regulated by the Federal Elections Commission; while state races are regulated by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.

For candidates that have post office boxes or other mail receptacles, the Secretary of State’s office views that any contribution postmarked prior to the blackout, and received after the blackout may be accepted. Any contribution postmarked during the blackout and received during or after the blackout should be returned to the contributor. For any contribution received after the blackout in which the candidate cannot determine the postmark date or determine if the contribution was given during the blackout, it is our recommendation that the contribution be returned to the contributor 

Candidates may still make public appearances and speak to groups, but they cannot solicit contributions or accept contributions during the blackout,

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If you want to donate to a state candidate, get those contributions in before the blackout period begins on Monday.

The special session is being called by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to address problems with the Alabama Department of Corrections. The governor and legislative leadership have an ambitious plan to build new prisons. A second special session is anticipated later this fall to address constitutionally mandated redistricting.

The major party primaries will be held on May 24, 2022.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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