03-30-2017  1:35 pm      •     
The Wake of Vanport
Vote sign

Democracy Vouchers are a new way for Seattle residents to become more active in city government by donating to candidate campaigns and/or running for elected positions themselves. Beginning Dec. 1, Seattle residents may apply to receive four $25 Democracy Vouchers to give to candidates running in the 2017 City of Seattle elections.

Registered voters in Seattle will automatically receive $100 in Democracy Vouchers by mail after Jan. 3, 2017. Seattle residents do not have to be registered voters to receive Democracy Vouchers.

To be eligible to use the $100 in Democracy Vouchers, residents must:

  • Live in Seattle;
  • Be at least 18 years of age; and
  • Be either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident “green card holder”.

If residents meet the eligibility requirements, they are encouraged to apply for Democracy Vouchers. The application is available in 15 languages at www.seattle.gov/democracyvoucher.

Seattle residents may only give Democracy Vouchers to participating candidates running for City Council or City Attorney. The program will expand to include the Mayor’s race in 2021. Residents may give participating candidates one ($25), two ($50), three ($75), or all four ($100) of their Democracy Vouchers.

Wayne Barnett, the executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, says, “Seattle is the first city in the nation to put democracy vouchers in the hands of its residents.  The goal is to give all of our City’s residents a greater say in our democracy.”

All Seattle households will receive an informational mailer about the Democracy Voucher Program after December 7, 2016.

For more information, please call (206) 727-8855 (language assistance available) or visit www.seattle.gov/democracyvoucher. The website includes translated program information in these 14 languages: Amharic, Cambodian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Lao, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Thai, Tigrigna, and Vietnamese.

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