Northern Ireland

Firm Opt2vote wins £5.2m Scottish election contract

Ballot box
Image caption Opt2vote's software will help count Scottish ballot papers

Londonderry-based firm Opt2vote has won a multi-million pound contract to provide electronic vote-counting services in Scotland.

Opt2vote secured the £5.2m deal in a partnership with Logica, one of the UK's biggest technology companies.

Software provided by the company will be used to prepare ballot papers and enable electronic counting in local government elections.

The firm plans to create six jobs in Derry as a result of the announcement.

Scotland's Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, Jim Mather, said the new system would help prevent a repeat of voting problems encountered in Scotland in 2007.

"Come the election, it will offer greater transparency through better displays of information as the count progresses.

"The system will have been subjected to rigorous testing to protect against the failures of the past," he said.

Scotland uses the single transferable vote system (STV) in local government elections and Opt2vote said electronic counting was required to carry out the complex calculations involved in STV within a satisfactory time frame.

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