FEC Approves Early Recount Spending

Posted August 26, 2010 at 2:58pm

Congressional candidates can start spending funds to prepare for any potential recounts well before the polls open.

The Federal Election Commission unanimously agreed in a 6-0 vote Thursday afternoon that campaigns are permitted to spend money for recount-related costs at any time before or after the elections.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee requested the FEC’s opinion to find out whether it could use recount funds to retain attorneys, pay staff, do research and defray the costs of soliciting donations to the recount fund.

While the decision was issued on behalf of the DSCC, it could affect all candidates — especially those in tight races.

Federal candidate recount funds are treated differently under election laws than the money raised for primary and general contests. Because the money is not being used to affect votes, individuals, parties and political action committees may make another donation to such funds.

All such donations and spending have to be disclosed under campaign finance rules.