An election campaign does not end when the results are announced at the end of polling day.
The submission of a complete and accurate Candidate’s Financial Report (form 2120) marks the official end of every candidate’s campaign.
Completing the Candidate’s Financial Report is one of the key responsibilities of the Official Agent. It is a document that is required by law to be submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer within 60 business days of polling day.
The Elections and Plebiscites Act requires that proper records of all election financial transactions be maintained. The Official Agent must record and report all monetary and non-monetary contributions as well as the names and addresses of those who contributed more than $100 to a campaign, and all election expenses.
Once submitted, the Candidate’s Financial Report becomes a public document.
The $200 nomination deposit will be returned to candidates whose Official Agents file a complete and accurate Candidate’s Financial Report within the 60-business-day deadline.
Instructions for completing the Candidate's Financial Report (link is external)
Some candidates will find themselves with extra funds at the end of their campaign, while others may not have enough to pay the balance of their election expenses.
Within 60 business days after polling day, any contributions that were received but not spent on the campaign must be:
- given to a charitable organization of the candidate’s choosing; or
- provided to the Chief Electoral Officer to be deposited into the GNWT’s Consolidated Revenue Fund
Candidates must report any surplus funds and indicate their chosen option for disposal of these funds in Section Seven of the Candidate’s Financial Report.
Surplus contributions that are donated to a charity are NOT eligible for tax benefits.
Election campaigns sometimes cost more than anticipated. Candidates have two options for reducing a campaign deficit:
- Official Agents may continue to collect contributions for 60 business days after polling day.
- Candidates can contribute their own funds to pay the balance of the expenses.
It is important to remember that Candidate’s Financial Reports are also due within 60 business days of polling day, so it is best to plan ahead to avoid having to raise contributions within this period.
If the Official Agent is unable to collect enough contributions to eliminate the deficit, funds must be provided by the candidate to cover any unpaid expenses. This information must be reported in Section Seven of the Candidate’s Financial Report.
Candidates and Official Agents are responsible for paying election expenses in full. Elections NWT does not provide funding to cover any campaign deficits or outstanding debts incurred by a candidate or Official Agent.
Occasionally, an Official Agent may have difficulty procuring the required supporting documentation for the Candidate’s Financial Report within the 60-business-day limit.
If an Official Agent is unable to obtain supporting documentation within the time limit, or the documentation arrives too late to complete the Report on time, the Official Agent for a candidate who was not elected may apply to have the deadline extended for an additional 60 days. Extensions are not guaranteed.
The Official Agent for a candidate who has been elected to the Legislative Assembly is eligible to apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for a 15-business-day extension. If more time is required, elected members must apply to a judge of the Supreme Court for an authorized excuse for late filing. Extensions are not guaranteed.
An application for any type of extension must be made to the Chief Electoral Officer before the expiry of the original 60-business-day deadline. Extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
If a complete and accurate Candidate’s Financial Report is not received by the Chief Electoral Officer within 60 business days of polling day, and an extension is not granted, the candidate will receive notice of a $500 penalty payable to the Chief Electoral Officer within 30 days of receiving the notice. An additional $50 per day (up to a maximum of $1000) will also be applied for each day the Report is overdue.
Failure to submit a Candidate’s Financial Report is a major election offence, which can incur penalties of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to one year, or both.
Successful candidates (those certified by a Returning Officer as duly elected) must submit their Candidate’s Financial Report in order to sit as a member of the Legislative Assembly.
An elected candidate cannot sit or vote as a member of the Legislative Assembly if their Candidate’s Financial Report and supporting documentation are:
- not delivered to the Chief Electoral Officer within 60 business days after polling day (unless an extension has been authorized), or
- delivered to the Chief Electoral Officer but are inaccurate and/or incomplete.
Visit electionsnwt.ca/finance or the Candidate Portal for detailed tutorials and examples of how to complete the Candidate’s Financial Report (form 2120).
If you have further questions or require additional assistance, you can contact Election NWT's Finance Officer by phone or email:
Call (toll free): 1-844-873-9100 firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail)