Polys

Participatory budgeting voting in the Volgograd region

More than 185,000 people voted for initiative budgeting projects.
Initiative budgeting is part of a global trend. It is a set of practices for solving local issues based on civil initiatives. Residents of the Volgograd region, in the south of Russia, chose which projects would receive money from the municipal budget.

Dmitry Zavyalov
Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Volgograd region
"The Volgograd Region has been voting for projects of local initiatives for the second year in a row. The results show the demand for the project and the method of their selection: the number of votes cast for projects has almost doubled compared to last year."
PROBLEM

Low voter turnout

The main problem was the difficulty of conveying the idea of participatory budgeting to a large number of people. The authorities had previously held general meetings in the administration buildings of cities and towns, but no more than 200 people at a time participated in them. Online voting would make it possible to increase the number of people involved in the decision-making process, raise awareness of participatory budgeting and help choose the most suitable projects.
SOLUTION

Online voting in 45 districts of the region

Voting took place on a special site and lasted 14 days around the clock. Voters logged in to the system using a phone number. To access the vote, citizens had to enter a code on from SMS, after which they could cast their votes. Each voter could cast one vote for a project in each district of the Volgograd region (a total of 45), not just for the district where they lived.
RESULT

Voting across the region in record time

185,000 people took part in the voting. A total of 207,000 votes were counted. This result exceeded all expectations of the administration of the Volgograd region; a year earlier, 112 votes were cast. In the past, conducting a meeting for 200 people required approximately one day of work; doing so for 185,000 voters would have taken more than two years.