The vote counting hall in Naxxar has been transformed into one equipped with a fully-functional electronic system, which will be first used for the European Parliament and local council elections in May next year. The new system will see the old manual method of counting votes ditched in favour of an automated e-Counting process, which will mean less time is taken for all votes to be counted, and the chance of human error is minimised. E-counting will also be used for the general election and local council elections in 2024. Chief Electoral Commissioner Joseph Church told the press, at an event showcasing the system, that two mock counts are planned to identify any teething troubles in the new system, one scheduled for Saturday, and the other for December. The latter will be a full-scale simulation of the counting process for the European elections.
While the way people vote is remaining the same – voters will still manually fill in a paper ballot sheet, with numbers indicating their preferred candidates – the votes will now be scanned and counted electronically.
The electronic system is being provided by IDOX, a Scotland-based company with over 23 years of experience in the sector. IDOX are partnering with Spanish firm Scytl, which is dealing with the security aspects of the counting.