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Fri Jul 7, 2017, 11:40 AM

'Democracy vouchers' aim to amplify low-income voices, to conservative ire

Source: The Guardian

'Democracy vouchers' aim to amplify low-income voices, to conservative ire

Experiment comes at a time of seemingly new possibilities for election financing after Bernie Sanders demonstrated that small donors can float a campaign

Josh Cohen in Seattle
Friday 7 July 2017 11.00 BST

If money amplifies the voices of wealthy Americans in politics, Seattle is trying something that aims to give low-income and middle-class voters a signal boost.

The city’s new “Democracy Voucher” program, the first of its kind in the US, provides every eligible Seattle resident with $100 in taxpayer-funded vouchers to donate to the candidates of their choice. The goal is to incentivize candidates to take heed of a broad range of residents – homeless people, minimum-wage workers, seniors on fixed incomes – as well as the big-dollar donors who often dictate the political conversation.

This August’s primary is the trial run for the program. But before Seattle can crow about having re-enfranchised long-overlooked voters, it must contend with conservative opposition.

The experiment comes at a time of seemingly new possibilities for campaign financing. Bernie Sanders demonstrated that small donors can float a campaign, with 99% of his donations coming from individual donors, 59% of which were considered small donations.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/07/democracy-vouchers-seattle-politics-low-income-homeless

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Reply 'Democracy vouchers' aim to amplify low-income voices, to conservative ire (Original post)
Eugene Jul 2017 OP
mr_lebowski Jul 2017 #1
MichMan Jul 2017 #2

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 03:02 PM

1. Great .. next step: This is the only money they can take aside from individual donations

Up to, say, $200/person. Period. What you raise through these means, that's your election fund. Done.

And then make all local TV affiliates agree to provide the same amount of overall airtime to every candidate.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Jul 7, 2017, 06:45 PM

2. There are a lot better uses for $100 than going into the pockets of politicians

Not sure I agree with Seattle giving lower income residents a voucher that ends up in the pockets of politicians when what they really need is the $100 to spend as they see fit.

I can see it now "Hey, come and get your $100 voucher!!.
"Wow thanks,, what can it be used for?"
"Well, it can be donated to a politician of your choice"
"Oh, thanks, I guess......"

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