As of July 1, the City of Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program opened to candidates interested in using Democracy Vouchers to help finance their campaigns for the 2021 City of Seattle elections.
In 2021, the mayor, city attorney, city council positions 8 and 9 will be on the ballot and eligible for funding. The Democracy Voucher Program has $6.8 million available for local candidates to fund their campaigns. Seattle residents who wish to run for office may begin pledging and qualifying for the program.
Running a competitive campaign can be costly and access to funding can serve as barrier to entry for potential candidates. From an independent survey conducted by BERK Consulting, forty-five percent of first-time candidates in 2019 reported they would not have run for office if the Democracy Voucher Program did not exist.
“One of the goals of the Democracy Voucher Program is to increase the number of candidates by making a new source of campaign funding available,” said Executive director Wayne Barnett. “The Democracy Voucher Program gives candidates in our city the ability to fund their campaign by collecting vouchers from nearly every Seattle resident.”
The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission offers one-on-one trainings to candidates. Interested candidates should contact the Democracy Voucher program at (206) 727-8855 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit seattle.gov/democracyvoucher for candidate resources and more information.