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The Washington State Supreme Court has upheld Seattle’s pioneering “democracy vouchers” program, which allows residents to contribute taxpayer money to qualifying political candidates. “The Democracy Voucher Program does not alter, abridge, restrict, censor, or burden speech. Nor does it force association between taxpayers and any message conveyed by the program. Thus, the program does not violate First Amendment rights,” Justice Steven Gonzalez wrote in a unanimous opinion. Under the program the city raises $3 million annually in property taxes. Each election cycle, voters receive four $25 vouchers that they can sign over to candidates who abide by certain rules. The vouchers counter big money in politics by involving people who otherwise wouldn’t donate and by helping lesser-known candidates compete. The city’s program is the first of its kind in the country.