The Scottish Government has contracted CGI to develop a vote counting system that will be used in the local elections in 2017. The elections use the single transferable vote system (STV), which is a form of proportional representation where votes choose multiple candidates in order of preference. As a result, manual counting would take up to four days. CGI provided an electronic vote counting system at the same elections in 2012. The current contract, worth around £6.5m, covers all 32 Scottish local authorities. There are about 1,200 councillors in 353 wards.
“Following on from the success of electronic counting in the 2012 local government elections, the Scottish Government will work with CGI to build on the past experience to deliver an effective and transparent e-counting system which will meet all expectations,” said Marco Biagi, minister for local government and community empowerment.
Mary Pitcaithly, convener of the Electoral Management Board for Scotland, said members of the electoral community have worked closely with the civil servants to develop an e-counting system specification.