Can a Donor Voucher Program Broaden Representation By Marginalized Groups in Local Campaign Financing?

A new study investigated the effectiveness of Seattle, WA’s Democracy Voucher program in expanding participation from marginalized communities in a local election, where voters were each given four, twenty-five-dollar vouchers to assign to the local candidates of their choice. The results, lessons learned, and implications of this fascinating study are published in Election Law Journal, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Election Law Journal website through October 30, 2019.

The article entitled “Diversifying the Donor Pool: How Did Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program Reshape Participation in Municipal Campaign Finance?” was coauthored by Jennifer Heerwig, Stony Brook University, NY, and Brian McCabe, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. The results indicate that the Democracy Voucher program moved the donor pool in a more representative direction and created a more egalitarian system. The researchers assess the representativeness both from a demographic and a geographic perspective.

Among the findings were that voucher users were less likely to be high-income and more likely to come from poor neighborhoods when compared to cash contributions. They were also more likely to be older. There was little difference in the racial make-up of the voucher users compared to cash donors.

Election Law Journal Editor-in-Chief David Canon, University of Wisconsin, states: “This study is a great example of the policy-relevant research that is the focus of our journal. As policymakers try to find tools to provide more egalitarian participation in campaign finance, they will want to consult this study.”

About the Journal

Election Law Journal is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published quarterly online with open access options and in print that provides global, interdisciplinary coverage of election law, policy, and administration. Led by Editor-in-Chief David Canon, University of Wisconsin, the Journal covers the field of election law for practicing attorneys, election administrators, political professionals, legal scholars, and social scientists, and covers election design and reform on the federal, state, and local levels. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue are available on the Election Law Journal website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research and law, including Biotechnology Law Report, Gaming Law Review and Economics, and Environmental Justice. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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