The Commonwealth Election Commmission, together with the Attorney General's Office and the Office of the Public Auditor, reminds the general public that the Northern Mariana Islands Election Law prohibits any individual from giving, or any other individual from receiving, anything of value in exchange for a promise to vote for or against any candidate or issue on the ballot or even just a promise to vote or not to vote.
The law prohibits candidates or their campaign committee, or any person, from giving monetary or in-kind contributions for such expenses as airplane tickets, purchase of fundraising tickets, payments for utility, television or telephone charges, car rentals, car repairs, etc. to encourage the support or the opposition of a candidate or issue on the ballot or encourage or discourage someone from voting in an election.
The law also prohibits any person from receiving anything of value, monetary or otherwise, from any person, any candidate or candidates or political parties in exhange for a promise to vote for or to oppose a candidate or candidates, a political party or any issue that is on the general election ballot or a promise to vote or not to vote in an election.
Any person who commits any of these offenses may be found guilty of a felony offense that is punishable by a fine not greater than $50,000 or imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, or both.
Candidates are also required to make a diligent effort to ensure that all expenses made on their behalf, by any other person or committee, are properly itemized and reported to the Public Auditor on forms that are required by law.
Candidates or their campaign committee treasurer, or anyone with a question on the do's and don'ts of campaign receipts and expenditures are encouraged to call the Office of the Public Auditor at telephone no. 322-6481/82 for more detailed information.