The city just sent you $100 (Chase not included).
The city just sent you $100 (Chase not included). Lester Black

If all of this snow doesn’t get in the way, the city plans on mailing out this year’s Democracy Vouchers to every registered voter in Seattle today. That means the city just sent you $100—how are you going to spend it?

Unfortunately you can’t use the money to buy weed, but you can use the money to donate to your favorite candidates in this year’s City Council election. Each registered voter in Seattle gets four $25 vouchers to give to their favorite council candidates this year.

We are nine months away from an election that will decide three-quarters of the City Council, and these vouchers give you a hand in deciding which candidates get the money they need to run a successful campaign. Do you want to give money to a former cop running in Magnolia? Or a bicycle-riding community activist in south Seattle? It’s up to you!

The city said they are mailing out the vouchers, weather permitting, on Tuesday. That means you should be getting yours in the same address you're registered to vote at sometime later this week or next.

Using the vouchers is easy, simply sign and return the little pieces of paper back to the city or hand it directly over to a candidate’s campaign. Or you can wait until the end of the month when the city’s online website goes live so you can donate to campaigns electronically.

Choosing who you give your money to might be a little more difficult. There are over 25 candidates that have pledged to join the campaign with more people expected before the May deadline. The council's seven district positions are up for election this year (the two citywide seats are not up for election) and residents can give their democracy vouchers to candidates running in any of the districts, not just your home district.

Candidates must agree to meet strict spending limits—$75,000 before August’s primary election, and $150,000 total spending if they advance to November’s general election—to enter into the program. And they can only start receiving your democracy vouchers after they get 150 Seattle residents to contribute at least $10 to their campaigns. So far, two candidates have met those requirements and can start receiving the democracy voucher donations. Over 20 other candidates have already signed up for the program and are in the process of getting those qualifying donations.

Most of this year's candidates have signed up for the program and are in the process of collecting those 150 private contributions. But, in a somewhat surprising move, socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant announced that she would not participate in the publicly financed program. Sawant is worried that independent spending by big business groups will help her opponents, so she is saying no to the public money.

So you won't be able to donate the socialized political donations to Seattle's most famous socialist, but there will likely be plenty of other candidates to give your free money to.