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Feb 14, 2006

DRS selected for Scottish e-Counting trials

As part of the preparations for the elections expected in May 2007, the Scottish Executive and Scotland Office are embarking on a project to trial and evaluate electronic counting technology and have selected e-Counting specialist DRS, in partnership with Electoral Reform Services Limited (ERS), as the service partner for this innovative and ground-breaking project.

Use of e-Counting technology has the potential to streamline the huge task of counting votes for what will be one of the most complex election events ever seen in the UK. Returning Officers in Scotland’s 32 local authorities will be responsible for counting votes from two Scottish Parliamentary papers (the constituency and regional paper) using two separate election methods, First Past The Post (FPTP) and the Additional Member System (AMS). In addition they will be administering, for the very first time, a complex STV (Single Transferable Vote) election, counting not one, but many preferences from every ballot paper.

Together, DRS and ERS are able to offer the complete solution to delivering a system that can confidently manage the most complex of elections. DRS can offer the specialised technology to read and recognize both ‘X’ mark ballot papers and hand printed characters – in real time, whilst ERS can deliver a unique level of expertise on the complex subject of managing STV elections. Together this partnership will bring to the Scottish Executive, a united body of experience that is unsurpassed within the elections market.

DRS Managing Director, Tony Lee, said: “We are delighted to be chosen, in partnership with ERS, as the preferred supplier to deliver e-Counting services for these trials. We will be working closely with the Scottish Executive and Scotland Office and their stakeholders in order to prove that we can deliver an e-Counting solution for the Scottish Parliamentary and Local Authority elections in 2007”.

Owen Thomas, Chief Executive of ERS added: “As the leading experts in our respective fields, ERS and DRS will be delivering the expert knowledge and systems required to assist the Scottish Executive with the smooth implementation of the STV electoral process.”

Each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland will be actively involved in the programme of trials. If the trials are successful, the Scottish Executive and Scotland Office will be inviting stakeholders with an interest in the elections to observe the system in action before any decisions on its deployment for May 2007.

DRS Press Office contact
Katie McBreen 
Tel: +44(0)1908 423760 
enquiries@drs.co.uk