FEC calls for ban on default recurring donation boxes

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Thursday recommended that Congress ban political campaigns from using pre-checked boxes on their websites that would automatically register donors to give recurring contributions.

The FEC recommendation came in the form of a unanimous vote from the six-member body, which is divided evenly between Republican and Democratic commissioners. The FEC said Congress should amend current law to mandate “affirmative consent” before donors are enrolled in a recurring contribution program. 

“The Commission’s experience strongly suggests that many contributors are unaware of the ‘pre-checked’ boxes and are surprised by the already completed transactions appearing on account statements,” the FEC said in its recommendation.

The recommendation follows a New York Times investigation that found that former President Trump’s campaign in 2020 broadly utilized pre-checked recurring donations boxes. The campaign ultimately had to refund more than $122 million to online supporters.

Both parties have used pre-checked recurring donations boxes, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee using them as well. 

The FCC’s recommendation has no force of law, a reflection of the agency’s inability to unilaterally change election laws.

Tags Campaign finance in the United States Donald Trump Federal Election Commision

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video