Voting in Participatory Budgeting
Participatory Budgeting (PB), a process where community members have a direct say in how a portion of public funds should be spent, has become an increasingly popular method to engage residents in budgeting decisions for local governments. It is an empowering and innovative mechanism that allows residents to propose and select projects given some budget and scope constraints, and presents a number of questions with regards to how that voting process should be shaped. The Stanford PB Platform was developed as an open source platform by the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team and has been used to support the voting phase of over 150 of such processes in cities across North America to distribute over $100 million.
In this presentation we will discuss the overall PB process, and especially focus on the voting phase. I will discuss a number of different voting methods that are available in the Stanford PB Platform, some considerations in designing a ballot and what we were able to learn about voter behavior from data collected on the platform. I will also discuss some other processes that we have organized with cities in order to engage residents in policy decisions, including city budgeting.