§3-12-3. Definitions.

     As used in this article, the following terms and phrases have the following meanings:

     (1) "Candidate's committee" means a political committee established with the approval of or in cooperation with a candidate or a prospective candidate to explore the possibilities of seeking a particular office or to support or aid his or her nomination or election to an office in an election cycle. If a candidate directs or influences the activities of more than one active committee in a current campaign, those committees shall be considered one committee for the purpose of contribution limits.

     (2) "Certified candidate" means an individual seeking election to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals who has been certified in accordance with section ten of this article as having met all of the requirements for receiving public campaign financing from the fund.

     (3) "Contribution" means a gift subscription, assessment, payment for services, dues, advance, donation, pledge, contract, agreement, forbearance or promise of money or other tangible thing of value, whether conditional or legally enforceable, or a transfer of money or other tangible thing of value to a person, made for the purpose of influencing the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate. An offer or tender of a contribution is not a contribution if expressly and unconditionally rejected or returned. A contribution does not include volunteer personal services provided without compensation: Provided, That a nonmonetary contribution is to be considered at fair market value for reporting requirements and contribution limitations.

     (4) "Exploratory contribution" means a contribution of no more than $1,000 made by an individual adult, including a participating candidate and members of his or her immediate family, during the exploratory period but prior to filing the declaration of intent. Exploratory contributions may not exceed $20,000 in the aggregate.

     (5) "Exploratory period" means the period during which a participating candidate may raise and spend exploratory contributions to examine his or her chances of election and to qualify for public campaign financing under this article. The exploratory period begins on January 1 the year before the primary in which the candidate may run for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals and ends on the last Saturday in January of the election year.

     (6) "Financial agent" means any individual acting for and by himself or herself, or any two or more individuals acting together or cooperating in a financial way to aid or take part in the nomination or election of any candidate for public office, or to aid or promote the success or defeat of any political party at any election.

     (7) "Fund" means the Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Fund created by section five of this article.

     (8) "General election campaign period" means the period beginning the day after the primary election and ending on the day of the general election.

     (9) "Immediate family" or "immediate family members" means the spouse, parents, step-parents, siblings and children of the participating candidate.

     (10) "Nonparticipating candidate" means a candidate who is:

     (A) Seeking election to the Supreme Court of Appeals;

     (B) Is neither certified nor attempting to be certified to receive public campaign financing from the fund; and

     (C) Has an opponent who is a participating or certified candidate.

     (11) "Participating candidate" means a candidate who is seeking election to the Supreme Court of Appeals and is attempting to be certified in accordance with section ten of this article to receive public campaign financing from the fund.

     (12) "Person" means an individual, partnership, committee, association and any other organization or group of individuals.

     (13) "Primary election campaign period" means the period beginning on the first day of the primary election filing period, as determined under section seven, article five of this chapter, and ending on the day of the subsequent primary election.

     (14) "Qualifying contribution" means a contribution received from a West Virginia registered voter of not less than $1 nor more than $100 in the form of cash, check or money order, made payable to a participating candidate or the candidate's committee, or in the form of an electronic payment or debit or credit card payment, received during the qualifying period.

     (15) "Qualifying period" means the period during which participating candidates may raise and spend qualifying contributions in order to qualify to receive public campaign financing.

     (A) For candidates seeking nomination on the primary election ballot, the qualifying period begins on September 1 preceding the election year and ends on the last Saturday in January of the election year.

     (B) For candidates, other than those nominated during the primary election, seeking to be placed on the general election ballot, the qualifying period begins on June 1 of the election year and ends on October 1 of the election year.