Seattle gives voters $100 to donate to favorite candidates

SEATTLE (AP) — A first-of-its-kind public campaign finance program in Seattle is giving voters vouchers worth $100 so they can make donations to candidates.

Now in its second election cycle, the program is drawing national attention with support from Democratic presidential hopeful New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The city mails voters four $25 “Democracy Vouchers.” They can give all of them to a single candidate, split them between candidates or do nothing.

The Seattle experience has generated a growing number of voters using the vouchers and a sharp increase in the number of candidates for eligible city office.

But a libertarian-leaning group has sued to halt the program on behalf of two residents, saying the use of their tax dollars to potentially fund candidates they don’t support violates their right to free speech.

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