To Solicit [Federal Elections] Law and Legal Definition

According to 11 CFR 300.2 (m) [Title 11 -- Federal Elections; Chapter I -- Federal Election Commission; Subchapter C -- Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 -- (BCRA) Regulations; Part 300 -- Non-Federal Funds], the term to solicit means “to ask, request, or recommend, explicitly or implicitly, that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value. A solicitation is an oral or written communication that, construed as reasonably understood in the context in which it is made, contains a clear message asking, requesting, or recommending that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value. A solicitation may be made directly or indirectly. The context includes the conduct of persons involved in the communication. A solicitation does not include mere statements of political support or mere guidance as to the applicability of a particular law or regulation.

(1) The following types of communications constitute solicitations:

(i) A communication that provides a method of making a contribution or donation, regardless of the communication. This includes, but is not limited to, providing a separate card, envelope, or reply device that contains an address to which funds may be sent and allows contributors or donors to indicate the dollar amount of their contribution or donation to the candidate, political committee, or other organization.

(ii) A communication that provides instructions on how or where to send contributions or donations, including providing a phone number specifically dedicated to facilitating the making of contributions or donations. However, a communication does not, in and of itself, satisfy the definition of "to solicit" merely because it includes a mailing address or phone number that is not specifically dedicated to facilitating the making of contributions or donations.

(iii) A communication that identifies a Web address where the Web page displayed is specifically dedicated to facilitating the making of a contribution or donation, or automatically redirects the Internet user to such a page, or exclusively displays a link to such a page. However, a communication does not, in and of itself, satisfy the definition of "to solicit" merely because it includes the address of a Web page that is not specifically dedicated to facilitating the making of a contribution or donation.

(2) The following statements constitute solicitations:

(i) "Please give $ 100,000 to Group X."

(ii) "It is important for our State party to receive at least $ 100,000 from each of you in this election."

(iii) "Group X has always helped me financially in my elections. Keep them in mind this fall."

(iv) "X is an effective State party organization; it needs to obtain as many $ 100,000 donations as possible."

(v) "Giving $ 100,000 to Group X would be a very smart idea."

(vi) "Send all contributions to the following address * * *."

(vii) "I am not permitted to ask for contributions, but unsolicited contributions will be accepted at the following address * * *."

(viii) "Group X is having a fundraiser this week; you should go."

(ix) "You have reached the limit of what you may contribute directly to my campaign, but you can further help my campaign by assisting the State party."

(x) A candidate hands a potential donor a list of people who have contributed to a group and the amounts of their contributions. The candidate says, "I see you are not on the list."

(xi) "I will not forget those who contribute at this crucial stage."

(xii) "The candidate will be very pleased if we can count on you for $ 10,000."

(xiii) "Your contribution to this campaign would mean a great deal to the entire party and to me personally."

(xiv) Candidate says to potential donor: "The money you will help us raise will allow us to communicate our message to the voters through Labor Day."

(xv) "I appreciate all you've done in the past for our party in this State. Looking ahead, we face some tough elections. I'd be very happy if you could maintain the same level of financial support for our State party this year."

(xvi) The head of Group X solicits a contribution from a potential donor in the presence of a candidate. The donor asks the candidate if the contribution to Group X would be a good idea and would help the candidate's campaign. The candidate nods affirmatively.

(3) The following statements do not constitute solicitations:

(i) During a policy speech, the candidate says: "Thank you for your support of the Democratic Party."

(ii) At a ticket-wide rally, the candidate says: "Thank you for your support of my campaign."

(iii) At a Labor Day rally, the candidate says: "Thank you for your past financial support of the Republican Party."

(iv) At a GOTV rally, the candidate says: "Thank you for your continuing support."

(v) At a ticket-wide rally, the candidate says: "It is critical that we support the entire Democratic ticket in November."

(vi) A Federal officeholder says: "Our Senator has done a great job for us this year. The policies she has vigorously promoted in the Senate have really helped the economy of the State."

(vii) A candidate says: "Thanks to your contributions we have been able to support our President, Senator and Representative during the past election cycle."