Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (834, 835)

Arthur Morgan

Question:

951 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the level of detail that will be released from the electronic voting system after the forthcoming local government and EU elections; if the first preferences from each polling station will be given to each candidate, which would be equivalent to the old tally system perfected over many years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1448/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The electronic voting system will provide detailed information for each count and at the end of all counts the following will be made available a list of mixed votes with preferences for each constituency and tables showing the number and percentages of different preferences received by each candidate. Provision of this information has no impact on the secrecy of the ballot.

The provision of information analogous to that provided informally, in the past, by tallypersons is under consideration having regard to the need to preserve the secrecy of the ballot.

Arthur Morgan

Question:

952 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the results of the forthcoming local government and EU elections will be announced; if all results will be announced on the evening of voting or as soon thereafter as they are available; and if some constituencies will be held over until Saturday; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1449/04]

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The counting of votes at the local elections will take place after polling stations close on Friday 11 June 2004. As there are a number of polls, the ballot modules with the vote data will be first loaded into the computer system by the local European returning officer for the taking of the poll at city and county level. The vote data for each poll will then be distributed in a secure manner to the returning officers for the local elections and to the European constituency officers for the purposes of vote counting.

The counting of votes at the local elections will commence on receipt of the vote data, probably around 12 midnight, and counting will continue throughout Saturday morning until the results are available. The time for completion of the local election counts will vary between areas.

EU legal requirements prohibit the official announcement of results in a member state until voting has concluded in all member states. In order to respect this requirement, the counting of the European Parliament votes will be carried out on Sunday 13 June at 9 p.m. The results should be available between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.