New system would give money to voters for political contribution - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New system would give money to voters for political contributions

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

What if the government gave voters money to donate to a political candidate of their choice? 

A Seattle program is aiming to do just that.

Under the system, which is set to begin in 2017, voters will get four $25 vouchers to donate to candidates running for mayor, city council or city attorney.

Voters passed the idea this month.

The goal is to get more voters excited and interested in local politics.

Those people in favor hope the money will help offset big corporate and wealthy individual donors.

Some people on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale gave some mixed reaction to the idea.

"I think it's a good idea, they're putting the power in the common people's hands and I think giving them a voice in the community rather than just leaving it up to the big corporations on which candidate gets represented," Kenyatta Williams said.

"I think people should contribute when they want to, when they feel the need or the passion for a politician in what they're trying to do," Joseph Villa said. "I think that taxes could be used for something else, something more important."

"I think any time you get people more engaged in the political process, that it is better for democracy," Steven Bonney said. "It's not just the big guys that are able to sway elections, but the normal everyday person."

Under the Seattle system, a candidate must meet a certain number of small-dollar donations to cash in the vouchers.

These vouchers are paid for by an increase in property taxes. 

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