Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (187)

Trevor Sargent

Question:

187 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the projected annual cost for storage of the electronic voting machines. [4466/04]

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

Returning officers have for many years been responsible for storage locally of ballot boxes, polling booths and other election materials utilising local authority, court and private sector storage arrangements, as appropriate. The same arrangements will continue to apply to the storage of voting machines.

The limited experience of electronic voting in the pilot constituencies at the 2002 general election and the Nice treaty referendum suggests that storage referendum arrangements for voting machines should not add significantly to election administration costs. Documented claims for final payment are made periodically, by returning officers, to the Department of Finance for recoupment from the Central Fund. The additional impact, if any, of storage costs for electronic voting machines will only be reflected after the roll-out of these machines to all constituencies has been completed.