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Donations, Big and Small
What percentage of a candidates' money comes from large donations? What about smaller contributions?
$100 or less
How does campaign finance work in Virginia?
Virginia is one of a handful of states with few restrictions on campaign donations.
Candidates can accept money from any source – individuals, PACs and even corporations. There are no contribution limits; donors can give as much as they’d like.
In Virginia, disclosure is the only form of regulation. Candidates are required to provide the name, address and employer of any donor who gives more than $100 during an election cycle.
Where does VPAP get its information?
VPAP gets the bulk of its campaign finance information from the Virginia Department of Elections. The state makes the information available for download twice a day.
All state candidates and PACs disclose electronically. However, candidates in smaller localities still have the option to file paper disclosure documents. VPAP gets these paper documents from local voter registrars in some smaller cities and counties.
How often do candidates disclose?
In non-election years, candidates are required to file twice, in July and January.
In election years, candidates on the November ballot are required to file eight times, with the filings getting more frequent near the primary and general elections.
In election years, municipal candidates on the May ballot are required to file five reports.
PACs and all non-candidate committees are required to file quarterly.
How quickly does VPAP update information on its site?
On filing deadlines, VPAP will post all reports available that day. You can look at summary numbers and browse a list of contributions and expenditures for each committee.
It takes three to five business days for VPAP to integrate transactions from a filing period throughout the website. During that time, VPAP adds value in several ways, including assigning a unique ID to each donor. This enables you to click on a name and get someone's detailed donor history.
Why are donors' street addresses not listed on vpap.org?
VPAP redacts street addresses in an attempt to balance the public's right to information with a donor's privacy. While each donor's complete mailing address is listed in public documents, VPAP believes that a ZIP Code is a sufficient geographic identifier.
Why is my donation not showing up on the site?
VPAP lists all donors who were itemized in campaign finance reports e-filed with the Virginia Department of Elections. If you can't find a donation listed, there could be several reasons:
The donation was below reportable threshold. Candidates are required to list names of only those donors who give more than $100 during an election cycle. If your donation was $100 or less, the candidate was not required to disclose your name.
The donation was made recently. Keep in mind that candidates are required to disclose donors periodically. In non-election years, six months can pass between when a donation is made and when it's disclosed.
If you believe our records are in error,
Why are some donors listed twice?
VPAP takes a cautious approach to assigning IDs to donors. If addresses and names do not match sufficiently, we'd rather list the same person twice (or more) than to conflate two people into one.
If you would like to report a duplicate,
Upcoming Campaign Finance Deadlines
Candidates on November 2020 Ballot (Oct. 23-Nov. 26)
Referendum Committees on November 2020 Ballot (Oct. 23-Nov. 26)
January 15, 2021
Candidates on November 2020 Ballot (Nov. 27-Dec. 31)
PACs and Political Committees (Oct. 1-Dec. 31)
Referendum Committees on November 2020 Ballot (Nov. 27-Dec. 31)