I refer to the reply to Question No. 523 of 1 July 2003 and to Questions Nos. 49, 59 and 68 of 26 November 2003, regarding the security and integrity of the electronic voting and counting system.
I have considered carefully the many reports and views expressed by various individuals regarding the electronic voting and counting system. In order to ensure the security and integrity of the system I have arranged for extensive testing undertaken by internationally accredited independent test institutes in addition to functional testing by officials of my Department and returning officers. I am satisfied that the new system is secure, that it counts the votes accurately and quickly and that the measures and protocols put in place in advance of the forthcoming European and local elections will safeguard the integrity of the system.