Electronic voting machines will be used in Ireland for the first time in a general election, on a trial basis across three constituencies.
A machine, and not a paper and pencil, will greet voters in Dublin North, Dublin West and Meath constituencies see when they enter the polling booths in May.
Citizens will cast their votes in the normal way, in order of preference, but instead of writing their preferences down on a ballot paper, they press a button next to the corresponding picture of the election candidate. Once their selection has been made, they press another button to cast their vote. The system is set up in such a way that it is not possible to vote twice for any one candidate.
The ballots are stored on computer disks, each one capable of holding the equivalent of up to 600 ballot papers. The data is then transferred to a computer, which adds up the results. It is expected that results will be available 2-3 hours after polling has closed.
Electronic voting will be carried out on a trial basis in constituencies in County Meath and North Dublin.
Ach anseo, i Scoil an Duinnínigh sa bhFaoldroim, níl aon eolas faighte acu mar gheall ar vótáil leictreonach fós.
The Department of the Environment has promised training in how to use the voting machines for April 2002, but at the time this report was broadcast, polling officials had not received any information about exactly what electronic voting would entail.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 February 2002. The reporter is Sorcha Ní Riada.