Information for Organizations
Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are answered using guidance from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). For the PDC's interpretation, please refer to the Commission's Guidance Regarding the Seattle Democracy Voucher Program document.
Are Democracy Vouchers considered contributions?
The PDC defines a "Democracy Voucher" as a campaign contribution and is subject to RCW 42.17A. As a contribution, all statutes, rules and guidance that apply to contributions apply equally to Democracy Vouchers.
What is "bundling"?
The PDC defines "bundling" as the process in which campaign contributions are collected from donors, by a third party, and provided in bulk to a campaign.
Questions about bundling should be directed to the PDC.
Can I "bundle" Democracy Vouchers?
Under RCW 42.17A.470, bundling, acting as an intermediary or agent, is allowed only by individuals.
As defined in I-122, a candidate's representative is a person who is registered with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission for the purpose of receiving vouchers on behalf of the candidate SMC 2.04.620(d). Assuming that a candidate's representative is an individual and not an organization, RCW 42.17A.470 would allow a candidate's representative to collect and transmit vouchers.
Organizations, organized as either a non-profit or a for-profit, may not bundle contributions, or act as an intermediary or agent to transmit vouchers. Nor may an organization provide a means to transmit (e.g. a drop box) vouchers to a candidate or to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
Can organizations encourage or solicit members to send Democracy Vouchers to a particular candidate?
Organizations may encourage or solicit their members to send their members' vouchers to a specific candidate so long as the organization does not take possession of the voucher.
For example, an organization may send an e-mail to its members requesting them to donate their vouchers to a specific candidate. Organizations should check with the IRS or other experts to determine whether such actions present an issue with their tax exempt status.
Under state law, if a person is paid or employed by, or volunteers for an organization, they cannot collect vouchers at any time if they are doing so on behalf of the organization.
For a more detailed explanation, please visit the PDC's website and/or refer to the Commission's Guidance Regarding the Seattle Democracy Voucher Program document.