In California Cities, a New Frontier for Public Financing of Elections

To give less affluent political hopefuls a fighting chance in local races, Seattle's "democracy vouchers" program provides each resident with four $25 vouchers to donate to candidates of their choice. The initiative has nearly doubled the number of candidates running for city positions since 2015, and those using the vouchers are more likely than cash donors to be young and low-income, leading other cities, such as Oakland, Calif., to consider adopting similar programs.

Related Stories