MDCRIS: An Overview


Welcome to the basic understanding of
using the Campaign Reporting Information System known as CRIS. The website is www.campaignfinance.maryland.gov. This video will be going over the administration of your account. Please note this video provides an overview of Maryland’s
Campaign Reporting Information System. You can watch it all of the way through
or navigate to different topics by clicking on the chapter markers in the
video’s description. Logging In to CRIS After you have registered a political
committee and it has been approved, the candidate chair and treasurer will each
receive an email from [email protected] with a temporary password so they can log into CRIS. Be sure to add us in your contacts to
ensure receipt of periodic notices when reports are coming up due and other
important information. Logging In to CRIS. Your username is the email address that
we have in CRIS for you when the committee was registered. Forgot password? Click on the link for ‘Trouble Logging In,’ Type in your email address and click on
‘Submit.’ You will see a message come up that tells you that an email with the temporary password is being sent to you. When you log in with the temporary
password, CRIS will have you change the password to a permanent one of your
choosing. The password will need to be 6 to 10 characters long and will consist of three of the following four: Uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters.
Then click on ‘Submit.’ And now we’ll move on to: The Reminders Page. Reminders Page. Once logged in, the first screen you see is your Reminders Page. On this page, you will find ‘Message from Administrator.’ This is where SBE will post information
such as dates for any compliance seminars or webinars, information on
authority lines, warning of phishing emails and more. The ‘Upcoming Filing Period Due Dates’ lists the next report due for the committee. The ‘Tasks’ section is Verifications. For example, when a Treasurer files the report, an email will be sent to the Chair informing them that the report has been filed and they need
to verify it with their electronic signature. When the Chair logs in, they
will see a notification under ‘My Verifications’ Whereas the Treasurer will
see it under ‘Pending Verifications.’ If notification is under ‘My Verification,’
the person will check the box that it has been reviewed and click on ‘Submit.’ That will place the electronic signature on the report. Pending Filing for Committee. This is for when you have data entered transactions on a report or if you are amending an already filed report that or if you are amending an already filed
report that has not been submitted yet. Our next topic is Registration Information. Registration Information. With the menu on the left hand side, at the very top, click on ‘View/Edit Registration Information.’ You can either click on the collapsible bar to see the menu, or you can click on the menu tab at the top right hand side of the window, next to
the reminders tab and logout tab. Once on the registration page, you can update officers contact information such as address, phone numbers, or email addresses for the current officers. If there is a change of officer or resignation of the
current Chair or Treasurer, at the end of their information, click on the trash can
with an ‘X’ on it. That will move the officer into history with today’s date
and you will get a button to ‘Add New Chairperson.’ You must have both Chair and Treasurer for the campaign to have any financial activity. Reports will still be due if there is an officer vacancy. Both Chair and Treasurer have the ability to file the report. Once the new officer information is entered and you have clicked on ‘Save,’ you will get a message: ‘You must click Submit at the bottom of
this page to save your changes.’ Click on ‘OK’ and go to the bottom of the screen
and check the box: ‘I certify that I have examined this registration and to the
best of my knowledge and belief… …it is true correct and complete.’ And click on ‘Submit.’ Depository Information. Click on the button to ‘Add New Depository.’ You must list the bank name, address and account number. Then click on the button for ‘Save Depository.’ You will get a message you must click submit at the bottom of this page to save your changes. Click on ‘OK’ and go to the bottom of the screen and check the box: ‘I certify that have examined this registration and to the best of my knowledge and belief it
is true correct and complete.’ And click on ‘Submit.’ In order to file a campaign
report, that information must be entered on the registration page or CRIS will
not let you file it. Other Information. ‘Filing Information’ shows you what
reports that the committee has filed, when it was due, when we received it, and who filed it. The ‘Violations’ section will list what reports were received late and what the late fee is. Documents/Correspondence has all notices that we send out to the committees. It will list that SBE has sent out a Pre-Report
Notice 10 to 20 days prior to a report coming up due. You will first receive an email notification, then a green postcard later in the mail. A Fee Running Notice is sent out about a week after the report is due if we have not received it yet. That also comes via email notification first, then a blue postcard
later in the mail. If a report is filed late, you will be mailed a Late Fee Bill and a few months later if a report is not filed or we have not received the
late payment, then you’ll receive a Show-Cause Letter telling you to file
the report and pay the late fee or we will refer the committee up to the
Office of the State Prosecutor. Maintain User. If you would like to add a person to help data enter contributions and
expenditures, you can do that by going to the menu on the left hand side and
clicking on ‘Maintain User.’ The person can data enter but cannot file the reports. Once in Maintain User, click on ‘Add New User’ and fill out the first name and last name. User name is their email address. Check the box to make them
active… …and select their role. Then click on the button for ‘Add User.’ Please check out our Summary Guide to Maryland Candidacy and Campaign Finance Laws for a more detailed explanation regarding qualifications and filing fees for
elective offices, who can serve as an officer, duties and responsibilities of
the officer, and much more. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance at 410-269-2880 or send us an email at [email protected] And now we’ll move on to Entering Contributions. Enter Contributions. Maryland law makes the distinction between contributions and transfers. It is important to understand the difference since contributions and transfers are
reported differently on your campaign finance report. Entering in contributions, loans, transfers, in-kind and other income. With the menu on the left hand side, click on ‘Enter Contributions /Transfers/In-kind Contributions. Where it states ‘Filing Period’ name, CRIS will have your next report that is
coming up due in the drop-down box. Here are several things to keep in mind
when entering in data. First as I go through some of the selections that we have listed in ‘Contribution Type,’ you will notice that information to select
in ‘Contributor Type’ changes too. Second, once the ending transaction date for the report has passed the system will then add the next reporting due date in the
drop-down box , so when you are entering in transactions please be sure that you
have the right report due date selected in the drop down box. Let’s begin with entering in Candidate Loans. For the Contribution Type, click on the down
arrow to see the selection of the different contribution types. Select ‘Candidate Loan.’ Then then go to ‘Contributor Type’ and click on the down arrow and you can select if the loan is from ‘Self’ which is the Candidate or ‘Spouse.’ If loan is from the candidate,, once selected CRIS will automatically fill in the
information for the candidate. Enter in the date the loan was made, how much, and then Save. And now we’ll move on to covering,
Contribution from an Individual, Business Labor Union, or Federal Committee. For ‘Contribution Type,’ click on the down arrow and select if it was made with
cash, check, credit card, or electronic fund transfer. Go to ‘Contributor Type’ and
click on the down arrow and select whom the contribution is from. Go down to
where it states ‘Search Contributor Name.’ If from an individual, start typing in
the last name and if they have been entered in before, you will see them in
the drop-down box. Once selected, CRIS will automatically
fill in the name and address for you. If this is the first time someone is contributing to the campaign, it will say ‘No Data Available.’ Then you can go to the
next section and enter in their last name first name and address.
You must have their name and address or the contribution will be anonymous. Anonymous contributions are strictly prohibited and must be turned over to the State Board. Employer Information is required for individuals giving
contributions of $500 or more or if they have an aggregate of $500 by
contributing several times throughout the four year election cycle. If you do not have the required information, there is a box that you can check to state
that you have sent them a letter requesting that information. Enter in the date the contribution was received, how much and if by check, check number and Save. And now we’ll move on to covering In-Kind. In-kind contribution is a contribution
given to a political committee in a form other than money. That can include items, services, goods, and anything of value provided to the political committee. The amount of an in-Kind contribution is the fair market value of the good or service provided at the time of the contribution. Go to ‘Contribution Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘In-Kind.’ Go to ‘Contributor Type’ and click on the down arrow and select from who you received it from. If it was from Individual, Business, Candidate Committee etc. Once selected, go down to ‘Search Contributor Name’. If it is from Individual or Candidate Committee, start
typing in their last name and if they have been entered in before, you will get
a drop-down box and you can select that person or candidate committee and CRIS
will automatically fill in the rest of their information. If it is from a PAC, start typing in the name. Please leave out if it starts with Maryland. Choose the next part of the name to search. The reason for this is because we have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it and leaving that out will help in your search. Once selected, CRIS will automatically fill in the name and address. You cannot change the address of of what we have in our database. That information is what the committee has listed for their Treasurer’s mailing address. If this is the first time am individual is giving to the campaign, and it says ‘No Data Available,’ then you can go to the next section and enter in their last name, first name, and address. You then go down and enter in the date
that the in-kind contribution was received, how much, and in comments you can enter in what it was for. Then Save. And now we move on to
covering, Other Income. Other Income is used for things like bank interest or if
the campaign wrote a check and come to find out it was never cashed. Other
Income will show money coming back into the account but they are not
contributions. Go to ‘Contribution Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Other Income.’ For ‘Contributor Type’ click on the down arrow and select ‘Business/Group/Organization.’ Go down to ‘Search Contributor Name’ and start
typing in the name. If they have been entered in CRIS before, you will get a
drop-down box and you can select that Business/Group/Organization and CRIS will automatically fill in the rest of the information. If this is the first time and it says ‘No Data Available,’ then you can go to the next section and
enter in the name and address. You then enter in the date of the bank
interest or the date that you realized that the check was never cashed, how much,
and in comments you can enter in something like ‘Bank interest or check
number 345 was never cashed.’ Then Save. And now we move on to covering Transfers. Transfer is a monetary contribution from one registered Maryland campaign committee to another. All registered Maryland campaign committees are already in the CRIS database. Go to ‘Contribution Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Transfer,’ which is located at the bottom of the drop down box. Go to ‘Contributor Type’ and click on the down arrow for the drop down box and select
from whom you receive the contribution from. Go down to ‘Search Contributor Name’
and if from a candidate committee, start typing in the last name of the candidate
and you will get a drop-down box where you can select the candidate committee. If it is from a PAC, start typing in the
name. Please leave out if it starts with Maryland. Choose the next part of the name to search. The reason for this is is because we have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it, and leaving that out will help in your search. Once selected, CRIS will automatically fill in the name and address. You cannot change the address of
what we have in our database. That information is what the committee has
listed for their Treasurer’s mailing address. You then go down and enter in
the date of the transfer was received, how much, and if by check, check number and Save. Before we continue on to covering Public
Financing, please note you can always check out our Summary Guide to Maryland
Candidacy and Campaign Finance Laws for a more detailed explanation regarding
loans, contributions and transfer limits, In-kind, raffles and wheels, payroll
deduction, and much more . If you have any questions, please feel free to contact
the Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance at 410-269-2880 or send us an email at [email protected] Public Financing. Any county in the state may elect to establish a system of public campaign financing for elective offices in the executive and legislative branches of the county’s government. The decision for a candidate to participate is voluntary and one can only participate if running for a covered county elective office. The county’s program may have strict regulations on campaign financing, contributions, expenditures, reporting and campaign material than that of state law. Let’s begin with Contributions for Individual Matching Fund. With the menu on the left hand side, click on ‘Enter Contributions/Transfers/In-Kind Contributions. Where it states ‘Filing Period’ name, CRIS will have your next report that is coming up due in the drop down box. For ‘Contribution Type,’
click on the down arrow and select if it was made with cash, check, credit card, or
electronic fund transfer. Go to ‘Contributor Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Individual-Matching Fund.’ ‘Individual-Matching Fund’ must be
selected in order for the contributor type to have that contribution reviewed
to be public fund matching. Any other selection will not be reviewed for
matching. Go down to where it states ‘Search Contributor Name.’ If from an individual, start typing in the last name and if they have been entered in before,
you will see them in the drop-down box. Once selected, CRIS will automatically
fill in the name and address for you. If this is the first time someone is contributing to the campaign, it will say ‘ No Data Available.’ Then you can go to the next section and enter in their last name, first name, address and county of residence. You must have their name and address or the contribution will be anonymous. Anonymous contributions are strictly prohibited and must be turned over to the State Board. The ‘Employer and Occupation Information’ is not required as the allowable contribution amount in a public funded campaign cannot exceed
one hundred and fifty dollars. Enter in the date the contribution was
received, how much, an if by check, check number and Save. And now we’ll move on to
covering Uploading and Linking for Receipt Documents. This is a two-step process and you need to scan the receipt documents individually and save them on
your computer. You can create a folder on your desktop for easy access. Let’s begin with step 1- Upload Receipt Documents in parenthesis. With the menu on the left-hand side go to where it states ‘Receipt Documents.’ and click on ‘Step – 1 Upload Receipt Documents’ in parentheses. Where it states ‘Filing Period’, it will
have the next report coming up due. For ‘Transaction Type,’ click on the down arrow and choose if it is for Contributions or Expenditures. In ‘File Name,’ you can name
it whatever works for you but if it is from an individual, it is easier to
search if it starts with the contributor last name and first name or initial in case you have several Smiths that have contributed – for an example. Where it says ‘Upload File,’ click on the button for ‘Choose File.’ Go to where you have saved
the scanned document and select it. Now click on the button for ‘Upload Receipt.’ You will see a message that says ‘Receipt Saved Successfully.’ Click on ‘OK.’ You will do this for each contribution or expenditure that you have. Once the receipt document has been scanned and uploaded, we can move on to ‘Step 2 – Link Receipt Documents’ in parentheses. With the menu on the left hand side, go to
where it states ‘Receipt Documents’ and click on ‘Step 2 – Link Receipt Documents’ in parentheses. Where it says ‘Filing Period,’ click on the down arrow and select the report. Go to ‘Transaction Type’ and select if it is contribution or expenditure. Where it states ‘Contributor/Payee Name,’ if from individual, start typing in their last name and you will get a drop-down box to
select the contributor. You can then go to down and click on the ‘Search’ button and it will pull up their information up on the screen. Under where it says ‘Select All,’ check the box. Then click on the button to link. You can also tweak your
search criteria to see transactions that have not been linked, transactions with
linked receipts, by contribution type, and even transaction date range. If you have data entered transactions under a matching fund report and do not file that report, CRIS will automatically shift your transaction to the next
matching fund report for you. I am now going through the step again and linking another contribution. Before we continue on to covering Entering Expenditures, please check our Summary Guide for Public Election Fund for a more detailed explanation regarding contribution requirements, qualifying contributions, eligible and impermissible contributions and much more. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance at 410-269-2880 or send us
an email at [email protected] with public financing in the subject line. Entering Expenditures. An expenditure is defined as a gift, transfer, disbursement or promise of money or valuable thing by
or on behalf of a political committee to promote or assist in promoting the
success or defeat of a candidate, political party, or question at an
election. With the menu on the left hand side, click on’ Enter Expenditures and Outstanding Obligations.’ Where it states, ‘File Period’ name,’ CRIS will have your
next report that is coming up due in the drop down box. Here are several things to
keep in mind when entering in data. First, as I go through some of the selections, we have listed in ‘Expense Category,’ you will notice that information to select
in ‘Expense Purpose’ changes too. Second, once the ending transaction date for the report has passed, the system will then add the next report due date in the drop
down box. So when you are entering in transactions, please be sure that you
have the right report due date in the drop down box. Let’s begin with expenditures to ‘Business/ Group/Organization.’ Go to the ‘Payee Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Business/Group/
Organization.’ Go down to where it states ‘Search Payee Name.” Start typing in the name of the business / group/organization and if they have not been
entered in before you will see it says ‘No Data Available.’ Then you can go to the
next section and enter in the name and address. If they have been entered in
before and are in the drop-down box select it, and the name and address will
automatically be filled in for you. You then go down and enter in the expense
date and expense amount. With ‘Expense Category,’ click on the down
arrow and you will get a drop down box and a list of the different options, such
as direct mailing, media, other expense postage, printing, etc. Select which one
best fits your expenditure. Depending on what you select as the ‘Expense Category,’
that will change what is in the drop-down box for ‘Expense Purpose.’ For payment method, click on the down arrow and select if it was cash, check, debit, or
wire transfer. Then click on Save. And now we move on to covering
expenditures to Candidate Committees. Go to ‘Payee Type’ and click on the down
arrow and select ‘Candidate Committee.’ Go down to where it states ‘Search Payee
Name.’ We have all registered campaign committees for state, county, and Baltimore City offices in our database. Start typing in the candidates last name
and select that from the drop-down box. The name and address will automatically
be filled in for you. You cannot change the address of what we have in our database. That information is what the committee has listed for their
Treasurer’s mailing address. You then go down and enter in the expense date and expense amount. With ‘Expense Category,’ click on the down arrow and you will get a list of the different options, such as In-kind, Other Expense, and Transfers out to other Maryland Treasurers. Most expenditures to candidate committees are transfers out to other Maryland Treasurers. Transfer is a monetary
contribution from one registered Maryland campaign committee to another.
Select which category best fits your expenditure. Depending on what you select
as the expense category, that will change what is in the drop-down box for expense purpose. For payment method click on the down arrow, and select if it was cash, check, debit, or wire transfer. Then click on Save. And now we’ll move on to covering
expenditures to Federal Committees. Go to ‘Payee Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Federal Committees.’ Go down to where it states ‘Search Payee Name.’ Start typing in the name of the federal committee and if they have not been
entered in before you will see it says ‘No Data Available.’ Then go to the next section and enter in the name and address. If they have been entered in
before, and are in the drop-down box. Select it. The name and address will
automatically be filled in for you. You then go down and enter in the expense
date and expense amount. With ‘Expense Category,’ click on the down arrow and select if it is an In-kind or Other Expense. Depending on what you select as
the ‘Expense Category,’ that will change what is in the drop-down box for ‘Expense Purpose.’ For ‘Payment Method,’ click on the down arrow and select if it was cash, check, debit, or wire transfer Then click on Save. And now we’ll move on to covering
expenditures to Individuals. Go to ‘Payee Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Individual.’ Go down to where it states ‘Search Payee Name.’ Start typing in their last name and if they have not been entered in before, you will see it
says ‘No Data Available.’ Then you can go to the next section and enter in their name and address. If they are in the drop-down box and you select it. The name and address will automatically be filled in for you. You then go down and enter in the expense date and expense amount. Wth ‘Expense Category,’ click on the down arrow and you will get a list of the different options such as direct mailing, media,
other expense, postage, printing etc. Select which one best fits your
expenditure. Depending on what you select as the Expense Category, that will change what is in the drop-down box for Expense Purpose. For ‘Payment Method,’ click on the
down arrow, and select if it was cash, check, debit or wire transfer. Then click on Save. And now we’ll move on to covering
expenditures to PAC Committees. Go to ‘Payee Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘PAC Committee.’ Go down to where it states ‘Search Payee Name.’ Start typing in the name of the PAC. Please leave out if it starts with Maryland.
Choose the next part of the name to search. The reason for this is because we
have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it and leaving that out will help in
your search. Once selected, CRIS will automatically
fill in the name and address. You cannot change the address of what we have in our database. That information is what the committee has listed for their Treasurer’s mailing address. Most expenditures to PAC’s are Transfers Out to Other Maryland Treasurers. Transfer is a monetary contribution from one registered Maryland campaign committee to another. You can also select if it was
In-Kind or Other Expense. Select which category best fits your expenditure. Depending on what you select as the Expense Category, that will change what is in the drop-down box for Expense Purpose. For ‘Payment Method,’ click on the
down arrow and select if it was cash, check, debit, or wire transfer. Then click Save. And now we’ll move on to covering
expenditures to – Reimbursing people. The Candidate, Treasurer or an authorized
campaign worker may pay in expense of the campaign from personal funds and
seek a reimbursement. Go to ‘Payee Type’ and click on the down arrow and select ‘Reimburse.’ Go down to where it states ‘Search Payee Name.’ Start typing in their last name and if they have not been entered in before you will see it says
‘No Data Available.’ Then you can go to the next section and enter in their name and address. If they are in the drop down box and you select it, the name and address will automatically be filled in for you. You then go down and enter in the
expense date and expense amount. With ‘Expense Category,’ click on the down arrow and you will get a list of the different options such as direct mailing, media,
other expense, postage, printing etc. Select which one best fits your
expenditure. Depending on what you select as the Expense Category, that will change what is in the drop-down box for Expense Purpose. ‘Vendor Details’ is where you would enter
in where the person that you are reimbursing made the purchase for the
Campaign Committee. For ‘Payment Method,’ click on the down arrow and select if it was cash, check, debit, or wire transfer. Then click on Save. Before we continue on
to covering Entering Loan Payments… Please note, you can always check out our Summary Guide to Maryland Candidacy and Campaign Finance Laws for a more detailed explanation regarding expenditures, reimbursements, expenditures to a federal committee, prohibited expenditures, charities and much more. If you have any question, please feel free to contact the Division of Candidacy and
Campaign Finance at 410-269-2880 or send us an email at
[email protected] Entering Loan Payments. In the chapter about entering in contributions, I showed you how to enter in a loan from the candidate. Now I will show you how to enter in a loan payment. Let’s begin with the menu on the left hand side. Click on ‘Enter Loan Payments.’ For ‘Payment Filing Period,’ make sure it has the correct report date in the drop-down box by clicking on the down arrow and selecting the report. Go over to ‘Loan Type’ and click on the down arrow and select if it was a ‘Candidate Loan Payment.’ Now go over to ‘Select’Loan’ and click on the down arrow and you will see a list of the
loans that have been entered in CRIS. Select the loan you want to make a
payment to. Click on Search. CRIS will pull up the information
regarding the loan. And lets move on to Making Payment on a Loan. Go down to where it states ‘Payment Method.’ Click on the down arrow and select how the loan payment is being made. Go to ‘Payment Date’ and enter in the date of payment. Payment Principle is the amount that you are paying on the loan. If this is a candidate loan, most times there is no interest paid – but if there is, please enter it here. Once everything is entered in, click on Save. Now moving on to Forgiving a Loan. Go down to where it states ‘Payment Method.’ Click on the down arrow and select how
the loan payment is being made. Even though you are forgiving the loan, CRIS still makes you have a payment method. Go to ‘Payment Date’ and enter in the date of loan forgiveness. ‘Payment Principle’ is the amount that you are now forgiving on the loan. If this is a candidate loan, most times there is no interest paid, but if there is, please enter it here. Check the box for ‘Forgiven Flag.’ This will
convert the loan to an In-Kind contribution CRIS. Once everything is entered in, click Save. By clicking on the plus sign which is
located on the left side of ‘Fund Type’ you will get a box that will show all the
activity for that loan. The next topic goes over Filing an
Affidavit of Limited Contribution and Expenditures. Filing an Affidavit of Limited Contributions and Expenditures. The ALCE is an affidavit filed by a
political committee stating that the political committee did not receive
contributions or make expenditures in the cumulative amount of $1,000 or more
exclusive of the candidate filing fee since either the establishment of the
political committee or the filing of the last campaign finance report. Let’s begin with Filing an Affidavit. With the menu on the left-hand side click on ‘File Affidavit (ALCE). Go to where it states ‘Filing Period Name’ and click on the down arrow to select for which report you are filing the affidavit for. Go down and click on the button that says ‘File Affidavit (ALCE). You will get a message asking ‘Are you sure you want to File Affidavit (ALCE)? Click on ‘OK” On the next screen, check the box that says ‘I certify that I have examined this report and to the best of my knowledge and belief is true, correct and complete.’ Click on Submit. You may also check the box for ‘Closeout Affidavit.’ By checking the Closeout box, you want to cease all future reporting obligations in CRIS. If you need to report a filing in the
future, the entity will be required to re-register prior to filing the future statement. This box does not mean finalizing the affidavit that you were currently filing. CRIS will only allow you to close out with an affidavit if
affidavits are all that you have been filing. If you have filed a report in the
past and want to close out, then please watch the chapter regarding Edit/File Pending Transactions. And now moving on to Upload Transactions. Upload Transaction. For those committees that are using a third party vendor or do not want to manually enter in contributions and expenditures one by one in CRIS,
also have an option to use a spreadsheet with our specific formatting to upload
data into CRIS. Let’s begin with, Download Templates. With the menu on the left hand side click on ‘Upload Transactions.’ Depending on which version of Excel that
you have, you will click on contributions and expenditures to download. Once downloaded, and you have opened up the spreadsheet, you will see columns for the
required information you will need to data enter for contributions or
expenditures. The ‘County of Residence’ column is only required for public financing committees that have matching funds. At the bottom of the spreadsheet,
you will see tabs for the different codes that you will need for the
spreadsheet: Upload Help, Contribution and Contributor, Contributor Occupation and
State County Codes. Once data is entered on the spreadsheet and you are ready to upload, go to ‘Filing Period Name’ and click on the down arrow to select for
what reported is for. Go to ‘Transaction Type’ and click on the down arrow and select if it is for contributions or expenditures. Go to ‘Select a File’ and
click on ‘Choose File.’ Select the file… ..and click on ‘Upload.’ Once processed, CRIS will give you a
status of ‘Processed with no Errors’ or ‘Processed with Errors ‘and CRIS will let
you know what the issue is. Click on the link for ‘File Name’ to download and open the file. Scroll over to column ‘AE’ for details on what the errors are. Fix it and upload again. And now moving on to, ‘Edit/File Pending Transactions.’ Edit/File Pending Transactions. Whether you entered your contributions and expenditures by data entering them in manually or by uploading them via spreadsheets. It does not mean that your report has been filed. All you have done is data entered that
information in CRIS. When you want to see what has been entered, if you need to edit or delete an entry, or if you are finally ready to file the report, you need to go to Edit/File Pending Transactions. Let’s begin with how to search for data entered on the report. With the menu on the left hand side,
click on ‘Edit/File Pending Transactions.’ Go to ‘File Period Name’ and by clicking on the down arrow, select the report. If you want to see everything
entered on the report, just click on Search. If you are looking for something in particular, you can tweak your search criteria. If you need to edit a contribution or expenditure, at the end of the information on the right hand side, click on the Edit button, and CRIS will open
that contribution window up so you can edit it if it has the wrong date or
amount etc. Then click on Save and CRIS will take
you back to the Edit/File Pending Transaction screen. And moving on to Printing Receipts. Once you’ve clicked on Search and CRIS has brought up what you have entered, you can check the box under the ‘Select All’ for those that you wish
to generate receipts for. Once you have selected those to print out receipts for, click on the ‘Generate Receipts’ button. CRIS will generate and download a PDF
of those receipts for you to print out. And moving on to Compliance Flags. When there are red flags, you can take your mouse and place it over the flag and it
will tell you why it is not in compliance. Click on the Edit button for
that entry and go into the contribution to make your changes and click on Save. CRIS will take you back to the ‘Edit/File Pending Transaction’ screen. And moving on to Filing the Report. After everything has been entered and
you are ready to file the report, you will click on the red ‘File all to State’ button. You will get a message ‘Are you sure you want to file all pending transactions to the State?’ Click on ‘OK.’ Your bank balance should match what
CRIS has for your ending cash balance on hand. CRIS works like your checkbook.
If you have a check that you wrote out but it hasn’t cleared the bank yet, you
know what your bank balance should be and you need to enter in what your bank
balance would be once it is cleared. Check the box that says ‘I certify that I
have examined this report and to the best of my knowledge and belief it is
true, correct, and complete.’ And click on Submit.’ CRIS will give you a message
‘Do you have other officer with you for authorization?’ If yes, the page will
change so that the other officer can enter in their password and check the
box that says ‘I certify that I have examined this report and to the best of
my knowledge and belief it is true, correct, and complete’ and click on Submit. I am now showing you how to file the report when you get the message ‘Do you
have other officer with you for authorization? and you click on No. Once filed, all officers for the political committee, will receive an email confirmation that the report was filed. And moving on to Closeout Report. If you have a zero cash balance and no outstanding loans or obligations and wish to close your political committee out, When you go to file the report, you
will click on the red ‘File Closeout Report’ button. You will get a message: ‘You must file all the pending transactions in order to request for closeout report.’ Click on OK. You will get a message: ‘Are you sure you
want to file all pending transactions to the State?’ Click on OK. Check the box that says ‘I certify that I have examined this report and to the best of my knowledge
and belief it is true, correct and complete.’ And click on Submit. CRIS will give you a message: ‘Do you have other officer with you for
authorization?’ ‘If yes, the page will change so the other officer can enter in their password and check the box that says ‘I certify that I have examined this
report and to the best of my knowledge and belief it is true, correct, and
complete.’ And click on Submit. Once the report or affidavit has been filed, the officers for the political committee will each receive an email confirmation
that the report has been filed. I am now showing you how to file the report when you get the message: ‘Do you have other officer with you for authorization?’ and you click on No. You can also go to your registration
page and go down to the section for Filing Information, which shows you what
reports have been filed, date due, date received, and who filed it. Before we continue on to Amend Transactions, we would like to remind you that you can
always check out our Summary Guide to Maryland Candidacy and Campaign Finance Laws for a more detailed explanation regarding when reports must be submitted,
failure to file, reporting bills, and much more. If you have any questions, please
feel free to contact the Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance at 410-269-2880 or send us an email at [email protected] Amend Transactions. This option is for when you have already filed a report and now you need to go in and amend it
because you may have forgotten to data enter a few contributions or
expenditures, you may need to amend a date or amount of a transaction, or you
have been sent a deficiency report and have been requested to amend a past
report due to entering in the data incorrectly and we have audited the
campaign committee . Lets begin with searching for the report. On the menu on the left-hand side click on ‘Amend Transactions.’ For ‘File Period Name,’ click
on the down arrow and select which report you need to amend. If you click on Search, CRIS will pull up everything that was filed on that report or you can
tweak your search by selecting different criteria and then clicking on Search. And moving on to Edit Contributions or
Expenditures. Once you have found the transaction, you can go to the right-hand side and click on the Edit button, which will open the window with the
information in it. Make your changes and click on Save. CRIS will take you back to the ‘Amend Transactions’ screen. If this is a transaction you wish to delete, on the right hand side, check the box to select
for the transaction or transactions and go to ‘Delete Selected’ button. CRIS will give a message: ‘Are you sure you want to delete the selected records? Click on OK. And moving on to Filing an Amendment. Once you have amended transactions on the report, you now need to click on the
red button for ‘File Amendment to State.’ Or if you were amending your report to
show a zero cash balance and no outstanding loans and obligations so you
can file a final report, click on the red button for ‘File Closeout Report.’ Next we’ll cover Merge. Merge. This option is great to use if you are
cleaning up your database. A good example is when you have multiple entries for who you know is the same person but have a different address and you need CRIS to keep track of their aggregates during the four-year election cycle. Let’s begin with how to merge individual or business. With the menu on the left hand side, click on ‘Merge.’ For ‘Entity Type,’ click on the down arrow
and select Individual or Business. Individual- Matching fund request, is only
used by public financing committees. Check the box for potential duplicates.
If you know a specific name you wish to merge please enter the name and click on
Search. If you don’t know, then go down and check the box for ‘Person and Address Merge.’ Then click on Search. CRIS will pull up all individuals that you have data entered in CRIS. On the left side, under where it says Select, you click on the radio button to select the name and address you want to now keep and have in
the CRIS database. On the far right side, you check the box of the name and address you want to merge with the name and address you have selected to keep. Click on ‘Merge.’ CRIS will now have one individual with that name and address and the aggregate will be added together. Once completed, you can move on to the
next one and repeat the steps. The next section covers Public Viewing/Disclosures. Public Viewing/Disclosures. The great thing about having the CRIS
website is not only can you file your campaign reports from anywhere as long
as you have internet access, you also have up until 11:59 p.m. to file it on the report deadline. You can look at other political campaign reports too as soon as they file it. We have multiple ways to search and view political committee information. On the main page of the CRIS website, on the left hand side, click on the box for ‘Disclosures.’ Let’s begin with Viewing Contributions/ Loans. Click on the box to ‘View Contributions/Loans.’ On the next screen, click on Continue. Now you will see a screen where you can enter in your search criteria for what you are looking for. The easiest way to search is by
going down to where it says Receiving Committee name. If it is a candidate, start typing in the candidate last name and you will get a drop-down box where
you can select the candidate committee If looking for a PAC, please leave out if
it starts with Maryland. Choose the next part of the name to search. The reason for this is because we have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it and leaving that out will help in your search. If you want to see all contributions that they have received, go down and click on Search, and CRIS will pull that up on the screen. If you want to narrow your search, you can tweak the
search filters by looking for a certain year or a report, specific dollar amounts, etc. Once you have pulled up your information, you can then download it into an Excel, Word, PDF, or CVS file. And now moving on to Viewing Expenditures/Outstanding Obligations. Click on the box to ‘View Expenditures/Outstanding Obligations. On the next screen click on Continue. Now you will see a screen where you can enter in your search criteria for what you are looking for. The easiest way to search is by going down to where it says ‘Committee Name (Payer)’ in paranthesis. If it is a candidate, start typing in the candidate last name and you will get a drop-down box where you can select the candidate committee. If looking for a PAC, please leave out if it starts with Maryland. Choose the next part of the name to search. The reason for this is because we have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it and leaving that out will help in your search. If you want to see all expenditures they have made, go down to click on Search and CRIS will pull that up on the screen. If you want to narrow
your search you can tweak the search filters by looking for a filing year or
report, specific dollar amount, etc. Once you have pulled up your information, you can then download it into an Excel,
Word, PDF, or CVS file. And now moving on to Viewing Committees. Click on the box to ‘View Committees.’ On the next screen, click on Continue. Now you will see a screen where you can
enter in your search criteria for what you are looking for. The easiest way to search is by going down to where it says ‘Candidate/Committee Name.’ If it is a candidate start typing in the candidate last name and you will get a drop-down
box where you can select the candidate committee. If looking for a PAC, please
leave out if it starts with Maryland. Choose the next part of the name to
search. The reason for this is because we have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it and leaving that out will help in your search. Select the political
committee from the drop-down box and click on Search and CRIS will pull that up on the screen. If you do not know name of the political committee, you can tweak the search filters by looking for committee type, responsible officer,
registered date range, etc. Once you have pulled up your information, you can then download it to an Excel, Word, PDF, or CVS file. Where it states ‘Candidate/Committee Name,’ you can click on the link and it will open up the political
committees registration page so you can see their information. You will be able to view current and past officer information, what reports they have filed and if they had any late fees which would be located under violations. And now moving on to View Filed Reports. Click on the box to ‘View Filed Reports.’ On the next screen click on Continue. Now you will see a screen where you can
enter in your search criteria for what you are looking for. The easiest way to search is by going down to where it says ‘Committee Name.’ If it is a candidate, start typing in the candidate last name and you will get a drop-down box where you can select the candidate committee. If looking for a PAC, please leave out if it starts with Maryland. Choose the next part of the name to search. The reason for this is because we have a lot of PAC’s that have Maryland in it and leaving that out will help your search. If you want to see all the reports they have filed, go down and click on Search click on search and CRIS will pull that
up on the screen. If you want to narrow your search, you can tweak the search filters by looking for File Period Name Election Cycle, Specific Date Range etc. Once you have pulled up your information, you can then download it to an Excel,
Word, PDF, or CVS file. Where it states ‘Filing Method,’ you can click on the link and CRIS will download the PDF of that report for you to open and view. Please note we only have State, County
and Baltimore City candidates in our database. If you are looking for a candidate running for a federal office, you can find them at www.fec.gov. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance at 410-269-2880 or send us an email at [email protected] And thanks for watching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *