Voters in Clonsilla in Dublin find the new electronic voting machines easy to use.

In the constituencies of Dublin West, Dublin North and Meath, people were casting their votes electronically for the first time.

Very simple and very direct, very easy to do.

At St Mochta’s National School in Clonsilla in Dublin West people who had voted were positive about the new system, and had not been put off by the new technology, 

It’s as easy as the other one, no different really.

All households in the area had received a leaflet in advance of polling day to explain how electronic voting would work, and this seemed to have assuaged any fears.

Environment Minister Noel Dempsey, who brought in the new system, had been one of the first to use it in Trim that morning.  There had been some difficulties in Meath when polling officers had problems switching on the machines.  And in Swords in north Dublin, one machine was out of action for a short time.  But roving voting officials were on hand to deal with these problems, and ensured that everything worked according to plan,

I’ve a spare battery in the taxi for backup, we’re on mobile phones and everything else, so we’re on call throughout the day.

At 10.30pm, when polling ends, the modules, the electronic equivalent of ballot boxes, will be brought from Clonsilla and other polling stations in Dublin West and North to the count centre at Citywest in Saggart.  The Meath count centre is in Navan.  

Results from these three constituencies were expected to be in by around 1am, much faster than the traditional ballot paper vote, with the smallest three-seater of Dublin West likely to declare first.

An RTÉ News report first broadcast on 17 May 2002.  The reporter is Cathy Milner.