People interested in financially supporting candidates in this year’s elections are officially allowed to do so as physical persons as of today (May 17) through crowdfunding.
The new rule was regulated by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) after being approved by Congress as part of a small electoral overhaul in 2016, which banned corporate donations directed at hopefuls.
As campaigns are not yet allowed to begin, those who have publicly announced they will run for office can now ask for donations online, but cannot directly ask for votes and may be prosecuted for anticipated campaigning.
To donate, citizens must resort to one of the mediator firms registered with the Superior Electoral Court. Up to now, 20 companies have been given credentials. Funds can be donated through payment slips, credit card, and cash. To prevent fraud, court authorities have set a daily limit of $295 per person.
Donors must be attentive to applicable administrative fees—which can range from a fixed value to a small percentage of the amount donated. Those planning to donate upwards of $295 must make a deposit directly into the candidate’s or party’s bank account.
At any event, citizens must be aware that donations must not surpass 10% of their declared income, and that non-compliance is subject to fine. The deadline for donations is the date of the elections—October 7 for the first round, October 28 for the second.
Only after August 6, when campaigns are officially allowed to kick off, are candidates permitted to spend the money from donations on printed material, rallies, and the like.