About the Program:
In November 2015, Seattle voters passed a citizen-led initiative known as "Honest Elections Seattle" (I-122) I-122 enacted several campaign finance reforms that changed the way campaigns are typically financed for Seattle candidates.
One major reform allows the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) to distribute "Democracy Vouchers" to eligible Seattle residents. Other campaign reforms include campaign contribution limits for lobbyists and contractors.
Seattle is the first city in the nation to try this type of public campaign financing. The SEEC is committed to increasing transparency, accountability, and accessibility for how Seattle elections are financed.
When is the next election I can use Democracy Vouchers?
In early 2021, the SEEC will distribute new Democracy Vouchers to Seattle residents. Seattle residents may use their Democracy Vouchers to support participating candidates running for mayor, city council, or city attorney.
How is the Democracy Voucher Program funded?
Seattle voters approved a property tax of $3 million per year in 2015 to fund the Democracy Voucher Program for 10 years. Properties affected include commercial, businesses, and residential properties. The Democracy Voucher Program costs the average homeowner about $8.00 per year.
How are Democracy Vouchers used by candidates?Assigning your Democracy Voucher to a candidate is the same as donating to a candidate's campaign. Candidates may use Democracy Vouchers to finance campaign activities and are held to the same City of Seattle campaign spending laws under the City's election code Candidates participating in the Democracy Voucher Program must follow strict reporting guidelines to qualify for the program.