Actively participating in the electoral and general political process is one way to safeguard our rights and liberties as citizens. The importance of practicing our democratic right to suffrage is something that cannot be stressed further – especially to the younger generations. Raising awareness and educating them on how significant this is to our existence as a free nation is vital.
It is quite disappointing though, that sometimes, we don’t get to see variety in our choices come campaign and election time. It is often the affluent and well-connected, if not privileged, individuals that we get to see running for various elected positions. Individuals with excellent ideas, plans, and platforms but limited by their access to funding and machinery rarely get their voices heard or are able to run a successful campaign.
These are the two issues that Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission aim to resolve with their Democracy Voucher Program.
Joining the webinar today are three resource speakers. Grant McLaron of Adoxio Business Solutions, René LeBeau of Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, and Julie Light (?) of the City of Seattle’s Information Technology team. They are equipped with years’ worth of experience in each of their specialized fields which were all utilized to successfully launch the Democracy Voucher Program in the city of Seattle. This specific webinar is sponsored by Microsoft Dynamics and Adoxio Solutions.
The three of them provided information and insights based on their expertise. Some of the areas they touched on are:
- An overview of Seattle’s citizens, voter populations, and their elected officials
- The office of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, its purpose, and composition.
- The creation of the Honest Elections Seattle Initiative 122.
- The changes that were enforced by the initiative in relation to campaign funding and spending.
- The goals of the initiative to create a more participatory, interactive, and dynamic political setting in the city of Seattle.
- The qualifications enforced by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission for candidates to qualify for the Democracy Voucher program.
- The number of candidates who utilized the Democracy Voucher Program from the 2017 election candidates.
- The process and requirements for Seattle residents to receive their Democracy Vouchers.
- Ways for the residents to assign their vouchers to a specific candidate and return it to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
- What the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission does to verify the vouchers with the residents.
- Methods for Seattle residents to request replacement of their Democracy Vouchers.
- Statistics measuring the utilization of the Democracy Vouchers during the 2017 election.
- Techniques and channels that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission employed and utilized to raise awareness, communicate and educate the people about the launch of the Democracy Voucher Program.
- Project timeline from conceptualization to launch.
- Finding the best partner providers for software solutions.
- The team structure that collaborated towards the successful rollout of the Democracy Voucher Program.
- Process improvements, program innovations and inclusions that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission are looking forward into integrating in the future.
- The program’s success, challenges, and expectations for the future.