For the 2017 election cycle, only City Council and City Attorney candidates qualify for the program. The program will expand to include the Mayor's race in 2021.
Before starting a campaign, interested candidates are encouraged to contact Polly Grow, the Campaign Finance Auditor and Trainer, for a complete training on Seattle's campaign disclosure rules and regulations.
The information below provides an overview of the qualifying process for candidates. Please feel free to download the PDF version of the Candidate Guide to Qualifying for your own use.
Interested in participating as a candidate?
To register for the program, the candidate must:
- Register as a candidate and file required reports with the both the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) and the City of Seattle.
- File PDC C-3 Forms itemizing deposits of all qualifying contributions with the PDC and the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
- Submit the Qualifying Contribution Petition to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission with a sufficient number of signatures.
- Follow all required campaign reporting requirements.
- Sign a candidate pledge agreeing to abide by the rules of the program.
How many qualified contributions and signatures are required?
Candidates running for one of the offices below are required to collect the following number of qualifying signatures and contributions from Seattle residents:
- City Attorney - 150 signatures
- City Council At-Large - 400 signatures
- City Council District - 150 signatures, at least 75 signatures must come from within the candidate's district.
Each signature must accompany a contribution of at least $10, but no more than $250.
The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission recommends candidates collect 20% more contributions and signatures than required to account for duplicates and invalid signatures.
What is the process for accepting Democracy Vouchers as a candidate?
- Candidates and campaign representatives may accept vouchers directly from Seattle residents once the candidate pledge is signed.
- Campaigns will submit assigned vouchers to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
- Once all qualifying contributions and signatures have been verified, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission will verify the vouchers and release the funds to the candidate's campaign. Funds will be released at least twice a month.
- The last day to redeem vouchers as a candidate with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission is December 1, 2017.
Seattle residents may also return their vouchers directly to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission will verify the vouchers and report to the appropriate campaign the number of Democracy Vouchers received.