Contributing Information and Rules

Information that Contributors Must Provide

Contributors to Candidate Campaigns

Contributors who give more than $10 to a candidate must provide the campaign with their name and address. Individuals who give more than $50 during a reporting period must also provide their occupation and principal place of business (employer). Candidates are not required to report the names of contributors who have given $50 or less for the reporting period. Those contributions may be reported as a lump sum.

These requirements also apply to seed money contributions given to Maine Clean Election Act candidates.

Contributors to Political Action Committees ("PAC")

All contributors to PACs must provide the campaign with their names and addresses. An individual who gives more than $50 must also provide his or her occupation and place of business (employer).  There is no limit to the amount that a person may contribute to a PAC.  If the PAC is initiating or influencing a ballot question initiative, then the contributor may be required to file a Major Contributor Report.

Contributors to Ballot Question Committees ("BQC") 
All contributors to BQCs must provide the campaign with their names and addresses. An individual who gives more than $50 must also provide his or her occupation and place of business (employer).  If the BQC is initiating or influencing a ballot question initiative, then the contributor may be required to file a Major Contributor Report.  There is no limit to the amount that a person may contribute to a BQC.

Contributors to Party Committees

A contributor to a party committee must provide the contributor's name and mailing address. Individuals who give more than $200 must also provide the party committee with the contributor's occupation and principal place of business (employer). Party committees are not required to disclose contributors who have given $200 or less for the reporting period. Those contributions may be reported as a lump sum.  There is no limit on the amount that a person may contribute to a party committee

Contribution Limits (effective 1/13/2021)

Limits on Contributions to Candidates
  PRIMARY GENERAL TOTAL
Gubernatorial – Party Candidates $1,725 $1,725 $3,450
Gubernatorial – Unenrolled Candidates N/A $1,725 $1,725
       
Legislative - Party Candidates $425 $425 $850
Legislative - Unenrolled Candidates N/A $425 $425
 
County - Party Candidates $850 $850 $1,700
County - Unenrolled Candidates N/A $850 $850
 
Municipal Candidates  N/A $500 $500

A contributor may give up to the contribution limit in each election.

The limits apply to all types of contributors, including individuals, organizations, businesses, unions, political action committees, and party committees.

Contributions made to a particular candidate that are earmarked or directed through an intermediary such as a PAC or a party committee are considered contributions to the candidate, and are subject to the contribution limits.

The contribution limits apply to municipal candidates in certain towns and cities.  

Note: An unenrolled candidate is a candidate who is not enrolled in one of the three officially recognized political parties in Maine (Democratic, Green-Independent, and Republican Parties). Unenrolled candidates are often referred to as "independent candidates."

Making a Contribution in the Name of Another

No person may make a contribution in the name of another person or knowingly permit his name to be used to accomplish such a contribution. No person may knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another. The contributor identified in reports submitted to the Ethics Commission must be the actual source of funds for the contribution.

Violating this restriction is a Class E crime and may subject the violator to civil penalties.

Corporate and Union Contributions

In Maine, corporations and unions may make contributions to candidates for state, county, and municipal office from their general treasuries. They are subject to the same contribution limits as other contributors.