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Vote counting machines tested

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New machines that will count the votes at next year’s local council elections in Scotland are being tested.

They will replace the machines which caused delays and led to votes going uncounted in the joint council and Holyrood elections in 2007.

This year’s Holyrood vote will still be counted manually but the local elections in 2012 will again use electronic counting systems.

Enterprise minister Jim Mather will be in Edinburgh for a demonstration of the electronic system.

The demonstration forms part of a four-week programme of system trials, following which any necessary modifications will be made and retested in further trials ahead of the 2012 elections.

Mr Mather said: “Rigorous testing of the e-counting system is an essential element of the preparations under way ahead of the 2012 local government elections.

“We are working very closely with all 32 of Scotland’s returning officers and their staff to ensure they are familiar with the e-counting system and understand how it will ensure votes are counted efficiently, effectively and in a way that increases the transparency of the entire local government election process.

“Today’s demonstration forms part of this important work.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • We used e-counting in the last London GLA elections. It took much longer than was calculated - and requires people to be really strict about how a ballot paper ends up in the boxes - i.e. not folded.

    However - it was great getting live updates throughout the day and and process for dealing with rejected ballot papers worked really well. It was a very real test of the technology - so anyone considering this should speak to the people at the GLA who organised it.

    Given the likley complexity of new voting systems - e-counting is the logical route - show ever - speed may not be the main reason for doing it.

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