How Do I File My Michigan Report?

Applies To: Michigan

Filing in MI is done via an import into the state-provided MERTS system. Follow the parts and steps below to get started.

If you already have MERTS on your computer, but have not previously filed from this computer, please feel free to skip to Part Two. If you have previously filed from your computer, feel free to skip to Part Two and a Half.

PART ONE – Download MERTS to your computer

  1. You will need your committee ID and password to download the software. Please note the password to download the Module is NOT the same as your filing password. If you do not have a password to download the software, you can obtain it instantly here:
  2. Download the PAC Module from the state and save the SetupPAC.exe someplace on your computer where you can find it again
  3. Locate the SetupPAC.exe file and double click. The MERTS program will likely install in your C:\ drive
  4. After following the steps in the install wizard, the MERTS program will launch automatically

PART TWO – MERTS Initial set up

  1. In MERTS, click Create a new committee file
  2. Select Political Committee or Independent Committee and click OK
  3. Read and confirm you are creating a new committee
  4. Click OK on the next window to enter your committee information.
  5. Complete the Filer Information to the best of your ability (this can be updated later) and click OK
  6. Click OK on Adding A New Report

If needed, continue to Part Three below.

PART TWO AND A HALF – Opening an Existing Committee File

  1. Launch your MERTS module
  2. Under File, select Open
  3. Select your Committee File, likely with an extension of .MI_DCf
  4. Under View, select Reports
  5. Under Edit, select New

PART THREE – Create the Report

  1. Enter the dates of the reporting period
  2. Select the appropriate Reporting Period from the Type of Report dropdown and click OK

PART FOUR – Upload the Names_Import.txt File

  1. On your computer, locate the .zip file downloaded from ISP, right click on the file, then select Extract All and follow the steps to extract the files
  2. Back in MERTS, on the Reports Tab, ensure the newly created Report is highlighted
  3. Under File, select Import Names
  4. At the prompt to Save the Dataset, click OK
  5. In the Browse window, locate your extracted zip file, and select name_import.txt, which should import right away
  6. If there are issues, please contact support at this point, or click OK to continue if no issues occur
  7. The Names tab should immediately be displayed and after reviewing the names, double click on any name to edit as necessary
  8. Update Employers for Individuals
    a. Under View” select Names
    b. Double-click on Individual Records
    c. Under Employer, search for Employer Name. If Employer Name does not exist, click Add New Name and fill out the fields as appropriate, using information as found on the PDFs.

PART FIVE – Election and Support/Oppose Set-Up

  1. Set up Election Cycles
    a. Under View, select Election Cycles
    b. Under Edit, select New
    c. Using the names and dates, create the appropriate elections for your Direct & Independent Expenditures.
  2. Set up Support/Oppose Entities
    a. Under View, select Campaigns
    b. Under Edit, select New
    c. Select either Candidate or Ballot Measure
    d. Search for the Candidate/Ballot Measure and fill in the information as per the PDF
    e. Click OK and repeat for each Support/Oppose Entity

PART SIX – Import Transactions

  1. Under File, select Import Transactions
  2. In the Browse window, locate your extracted zip file and select EXPN.txt
  3. In the new window, if you choose to, click “Check this to truncate fields exceeding the maximum allowed length” or move to Step 4
  4. Click Start
  5. The transactions will import and when done
  6. Review the errors/warnings on the import window (also found in the error log in your extracted file folder)
  7. Click Close (NOTE: If there are errors with transactions that you do not understand, please contact support at this point)
  8. Repeat the above steps but select RCPT.txt
  9. The All Transactions tab will be immediately displayed
  10. Review the transactions and double click any transaction to edit as necessary

PART SEVEN – Manually Enter Transactions that Cannot Be Imported

The transactions on the page(s) after these instructions cannot be imported.


  1. Under View, select All Transactions
  2. Locate the Parent Transaction Name – use Memo of, Parent Date, or Parent Amount on the PDF to help you locate the proper parent transaction
  3. Right click on the Parent Transaction and select Memo Subitem
  4. Under Name, navigate to the Entity Name
  5. Enter in Transaction Date & Amount (and description if appropriate)
  6. Click OK

This will show on All Transactions with an (m) before the amount to indicate the amount is a memo.


  1. Under View, select Summary Page & Data Entry
  2. Double-click Add New next to Line 6: In-Kind Contributions
  3. Under Name, navigate to the Entity Name
  4. Enter in Transaction Date & Amount (and description if appropriate)
  5. For Inkind Contributions, be sure to include a Description and select a Type of Inkind
  6. Click OK


  1. Under View, select Summary Page & Data Entry
  2. Double-click Add New next to Line 6: In-Kind Contributions
  3. Under Name, navigate to the Parent Entity Name
  4. Enter in Transaction Date & Amount (and description if appropriate)
  5. Select the Supported/Opposed Candidate/Committee and select Support or Oppose (if appropriate)
  6. Click OK

PART EIGHT – Review the Report

  1. Under View, select Summary Page & Data Entry and review the Summary Totals
  2. Under Filer select Report View & Print and review the report and correct as needed
  3. Under Filer select Validate
  4. Correct any fatal errors and any warnings as appropriate.

PART NINE – File the Report

  1. Under View, select Reports, right click on the report, and select Close Report
  2. Fill in the fields as appropriate
  3. Under File, select Upload
  4. If you get a message about warnings, click Yes that you would like to continue
  5. In the new window, enter your filing password, committee ID, and email, then click OK