Commissioner of Political Practices

Promoting confidence, transparency, and accountability in Montana's democratic processes.


The Campaign Electronic Reporting System (CERS) is a publicly accessible database where candidates and committees report the money they receive and spend to promote and oppose candidates and other ballot issues. Montana's campaign finance laws ensure that the public can engage with a transparent reporting of money in elections. To access the database and search, click here

If a candidate or committee has included an addendum (attachment) in a report, you will find this information at the hard-copy search database

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Campaign Finance (Candidates and Committees)

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- Candidate & Treasurer Guide to Navigating CERS
- Committee & Treasurer Guide to Navigating CERS
- How to Regain Access to ePass 
- In CERS, tip for viewing when downloading as a .csv file 

The Inspection and Exam Process

Both candidates and committees will become familiar with the inspection and exam process.   An Inspection Report is a COPP inspection that occurs each time a candidate or committee files a campaign finance report leading up to an election. The Inspection Report notes all changes a candidate or committee must make to each campaign finance report in order to comply with Montana law. A CFR Compliance Report will only detail one specific financial report.

An Exam occurs after an election and serves as a final and cumulative inspection of all financial reports filed by a candidate or committee (required by 13-37-123, MCA). All campaign finance reports are included in the Exam, and the COPP alerts the candidate or committee to all outstanding items or issues that must be addressed by the candidate or committee. The candidate or committee then has 10 business days to correct all outstanding items. For more details on the Inspection and Exam Process, click here.

Search for hard-copy Candidate and Committee activity


Filing a Campaign Finance Complaint

- Complaint Procedure
- Complaint Form
- Confidentiality and Disclosure Policy
-View all pending complaints
-View all completed decision 


Lobbyists and Principals

Report if you're a Lobbyist or Principal

Click the green button above to access the Principal and Lobbyist Online Reporting System (NEW!) to register as a lobbyist or principal, and submit L-5 reports

L-5 Lobbying Financial Report guide
Digital PDF L-5 lobbying financial report (can be mailed to emailed to the COPP)
Reporting Calendars
Forms for Lobbyists and Principals

Search for information on lobbyist and principal information via two databases that the Commissioner of Political Practices maintains. These databases show who is--or has been--registered as a lobbyist or principal, and how money is spent to influence legislation and legislators. One database stores lobbying reports that are submitted digitally via the lobbying database. These digital reports from 2009-2021 can be found in our Principal and Lobbyist Online Reporting System using the 'Search Registry' option. Reports that are filed as paper hard copies or are emailed or faxed are available on our 2009-2021 digitized hard copy platform


Filing a Lobbying Complaint

- Complaint Procedure
- Complaint Form
- Online (Fillable) Complaint Form

Filing an Ethics Complaint

- Complaint Procedure
- Complaint Form 
- Online (Fillable) Complaint Form