SIV Blog

June 2023 Harlem Participatory Budgeting pilot w/ RxC

David E. & Ariana I. - Jun 30, 2023

In June 2023, Secure Internet Voting (SIV) collaborated with RadicalxChange (RxC) and former New York City Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan to conduct a Participatory Budgeting (PB) poll in Harlem District 9.

Our project mission was to engage Harlem District 9 residents in the participatory budgeting process, offering them the convenience of casting their votes online and employing the Quadratic Voting method to determine the community's top priorities from a range of proposed funding allocations.

SIV was asked to meet the following requirements:

  • Intuitive quadratic voting interface
  • One person, one vote

Authentication: Mail-In Codes

The office of the Councilmember conducted a comprehensive district needs survey, gathering spending proposals from Community Boards and constituents.

Information about the PB process was disseminated through Community Boards, physical mailers, and emails, directing residents to register at

To ensure eligibility, SIV and RxC cross-referenced all registrants against the official voter rolls received from the Councilmember's office.

SIV and RxC used postal verification, sending a letter with a unique QR code and manual entry authentication code to each registrant. This step validated the residency of the participants and minimized potential fraud.

Example of letter sent to registered voters:


Once validated, registrants could log into the voting system, view the list of District 9 spending proposals, and vote using QV.

This pilot offered more experience with One Person, One Vote authentication via physical mail. Compared to email or sharing authentication codes in person, this method had higher costs and took longer — approx one week for people to receive their codes. However, there were substantial benefits — it reassured the Councilmember's office and the RxC Foundation that only registered Harlem voters could weigh in on the budget allocations within their jurisdiction.

As soon as the codes were received, over 100 voters participated. While 18% of participants did not utilize their entire Quadratic Voting budget, indicating a possible gap in understanding the QV method, a post-election survey showed that 80% claimed to have had a great voting experience.

Election Results


Further Resources

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