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Electoral Office warned against rush to ‘Scottish’ model

4 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy has warned the Electoral Office not to rush headlong into electronic voting after serious problems emerged with the system used in Scotland lead to thousands and thousands of people spoiling their vote.

Mr Molloy said:

"When Douglas Bain says that he is 'very impressed' with the count in Glasgow people should be very concerned.

"The fact is that the technology used in Scotland has led to thousands of people being disenfranchised from the democratic process.

"The Electoral Commission there has announced that is began an immediate investigation into the election voting chaos in Scotland.

"In Scotland seven counts have been suspended and up to 100,000 ballot papers spoilt with serious technical failures with the system. There has been widespread confusion about how to fill in ballot papers and problems with postal votes have also been blamed for the problems.

"The Electoral Office would be very foolish if it rushed to introduce electronic voting before the system was properly assessed. We only have to look at not just the potential to waste millions on a system that does not deliver but on the potential to further damage and undermine the democratic process by voiding thousands of votes." ENDS

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