The days of “banging on the perspex” in the election counting hall could soon be a thing of the past under a plan to introduce vote counting software that will slash the wait for the result from days to hours. The technology is expected to be tested in the 2019 MEP and local council elections before it comes into use for all national polls. “Our voting system has needed a major overhaul for many years,” Chief Electoral Commissioner Joe Church told The Sunday Times of Malta. “There appears to be consensus from both major parties on the way forward. This will ultimately make our elections more efficient,” he added.
Mr Church said the electoral commission would be doing away with the “costly” laminated voting documents – currently delivered door to door by the police and presented by voters before casting their ballot. Instead, voters will be able to enter polling booths with their new eID cards, which were rolled out nationwide last month.
“This just makes sense. The new cards have all the necessary information, they are up-to-date and they are equipped with smart technology,” Mr Church said, adding that he had already discussed this issue with the Malta Information Technology Agency.
The system would retain the current ballot system, in which voters list their preferences by writing numbers. However, these sheets of paper would be scanned and the counting done by computer software rather than an army of counters.