Have you received "democracy vouchers" in the mail? Here's your guide to what exactly they are and how you can use them.
If you’re registered to vote in Seattle, you likely received a “democracy vouchers” envelope this week.
The city is the first in the country to try this method of public financing for campaigns.
So, what are the vouchers and how can you use them?
Each envelope contains four vouchers worth $25 each, and you can convert them into real money by assigning them to local candidates you like.
The vouchers will be allowed this year in races for the City Council’s two citywide seats (Position 8 and Position 9) and for the City Attorney’s Office.
Only candidates who apply to and qualify for the vouchers program will be allowed to receive money from vouchers. To find out which candidates have qualified so far, view the city’s list here.
To assign a voucher to a candidate who’s qualified for the program, write their name, the date and your signature on a voucher.
You can return the voucher directly to the candidate’s campaign or mail it to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
The commission will verify the signature on each voucher before releasing the money to the candidate.
Your voucher assignment, including your name and the candidate getting the money, will become public information and will be published on the city’s website.
Seattle voters approved the vouchers program in 2015 as part of Initiative 122.