Seattle candidates want your support when 'democracy vouchers' come in the mail | KUOW News and Information

Seattle candidates want your support when 'democracy vouchers' come in the mail

Nov 29, 2016

Seattle's Ethics and Elections Office is ramping up its alternative way for candidates to raise money. It's called the Democracy Voucher Program, and at least one candidate plans to participate.

Seattle voted yes to approve the voucher program in 2015. It’s the first program of its kind in the country.

Voters will get vouchers worth a total of $100. They can be distributed to candidates for City Council or City Attorney, but only the candidates who prove that they have grassroots support.

They also must promise to only accept donations of $250 or less.

Low-income housing activist Jon Grant said he's registering for the program. He will run against City Councilmember Tim Burgess.

According to Wayne Barnett at the Ethics and Elections Office, Grant won't be alone.

Barnett: "Approximately 10 candidates have asked questions about what it would take to get enrolled in the program. So I would not be surprised if many people in Seattle have somebody knocking on their door between now and next November encouraging them to give their vouchers."

All registered voters in Seattle will get four vouchers. In addition, legal residents who are not voters can sign up separately to participate in the program.

Vouchers will be mailed out at the beginning of 2017.

Councilmember Burgess and Hannah Nye have also filed to run for the citywide City Council seat that Burgess holds now.