A Participatory Budget in New York

A Participatory Budget in New York

v číslech

67 690



districts involved

$ 38 million

budget for participation projects


The Largest Participatory Budgeting Project in North America

Within a participative budgeting project in New York in 2016, the city hall enabled citizens to distribute $38 million among projects proposed by members of the community. This was the largest project of its kind in North America. In 2015/16 the fifth round took place, with the involvement of 28 out of the city’s 51 districts.

Effective Collection of Citizen Demands and Online Voting

The Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito and her team wanted to simplify project idea sharing for participants, enable community feedback, ensure secure registration, provide an online voting option both on the spot and from home, and save taxpayers’ money (and the forests) by printing fewer paper documents and making vote-counting more efficient.

Automated Creation and Counting of Paper Ballots

The D21 team cooperated with the Council to enable online voting in all 28 participating districts for the first time. In 11 districts, residents could register personally in advance and then vote securely from their computers or phones. Another great advantage provided by D21 was the automated creation and counting of paper ballots, which made ballot counting much faster and more error-free.

The D21 Digital System

Five districts used D21 voting for the creative collection of ideas at neighborhood meetings, giving hundreds of community members a chance to provide their feedback. This simultaneously spread the news among citizens that a PB was in progress. And last but not least, the creation of the D21 digital system for on-site voting administration helped the Council to standardize the voter registration process across all participating districts, print fewer unused ballots, and let voters vote in their home district from any voting booth citywide.

The Results

The D21 digital voting-administration system was extremely successful. Many districts praised the fact that they did not have to reject voters from other districts. The districts that had used D21 voting to collect ideas in the previous process phase appreciated the usefulness of this tool. In Queens alone, over 600 community members got involved. During voting week, hundreds of voters could vote “remotely” from another voting room thanks to the wide availability of digital ballots. Compared to 2015, this saved the city the costs of thousands of unused paper ballots. And last but not least, D21’s local ballot-counting team managed to process 67,000 ballots in less than three days, which is a tremendous improvement compared to the 23 days that city officials had needed for ballot-counting the year before.

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