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Derry firm's electronic vote counting system in Scots test

A locally-developed innovation being used in the Scottish council elections could be coming home to speed up Northern Ireland's marathon vote counts.

The counts taking place across Scotland today are being done electronically with the aid of technology created by Londonderry company Opt2Vote.

The results from the 32 Scottish council areas are expected within just five hours.

Northern Ireland's chief electoral officer Graham Shields is travelling to Edinburgh with officials to observe how the e-counting system works in a live election and whether it would be suitable to use back across the Irish Sea in elections.

The Scottish local government poll uses the single transferable vote (STV) system — similar to the Assembly and council elections in Northern Ireland.

Mr Shields will be accompanied by members of Stormont's committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) as well as officials from Belfast City Council.

The visit comes ahead of a presentation on e-counting by Opt2Vote and the Electoral Office NI to political representatives at Belfast City Hall at the end of the month.

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