Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (334, 335)

Paul McGrath

Question:

420 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the costs incurred in holding a general election by way of personnel employed in polling booths, security personnel for polling booths, rent or hire of polling premises, materials, ballot papers and other furniture equipment required; and the way in which these costs compare to the projected costs if electronic voting is introduced. [7001/04]

View answer

Paul McGrath

Question:

421 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the costs involved in a typical count centre for the counting of votes at a general election; and the way in which these compare with the likely costs of such a count if electronic voting is introduced. [7002/04]

View answer

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

I propose to take Questions Nos. 420 and 421 together.

Costs incurred in holding a general election are recouped to returning officers from the central fund by the Department of Finance and details of the costs referred to are not available in my Department. However my Department understands that the overall costs incurred by returning officers in running the 2002 general election amounted to some €10.7 million; in addition, the costs of free postage for candidates was of the order of €8 million.

It is estimated that overall savings per general election accruing from the use of electronic rather than manual voting and counting, principally in terms of reduced printing and counting staff costs, would be of the order of some €1.5 million.