How Do I Generate the FEC Form 3 Post-general Report?

Applies To: Federal Election Commission – Candidate Committees

Because the Post-General has an election in the middle of the report period, clients often get confused as to which Current Election and Previous General Election Date to use when generating the report.

Our advice is:

  • For the “Previous General Election Date” use an election date that corresponds to the Report “From Date”, rather than the election that happens during the period
  • However, for the “Current Election” use the election that happens during the report period.

After you generate your report and review the PDF, you may notice the summary pages for Lines 11 – 22 look pretty different. Typically there are two columns: Col A (Transactions in the Report) and Col B (Total of Transactions Cycle To Date).

However, the report period for the Post-General includes a General Election, which the FEC uses to mark the end of an Election Cycle. This means the Post-General covers two election cycles.

To accommodate this, the Post-General has Column C, which is for that second cycle. This column is the Total of Transactions Cycle to Date for the new cycle that started the day after the General Election to the end of the report.

How do I do the math?

Typically, on reports with only two columns, the math is:

Previous Report Column B +
Current Report Column A =
Current Report Column B

However, with the Post-General, the math is:

Previous Report Column B +
Current Report Column A =
Current Report Column B +
Current Report Column C

Of course, it wouldn’t be the FEC if there wasn’t yet another strange thing on the report. On the first summary page (Lines 6-10), the Column B figures do not cover totals through the end of the report as they do for most reports; they only cover through the General Election. The FEC has stressed they care more about the Election Cycle totals, rather than the To Date totals.

Please also note Column C is only found on the Form 3. Form 3x Filers also have to file a Post-General, but the 3x does not have this special summary page with Col C. The 3x To/From Dates will be the same, as well as Current Election and Report Period.