This year’s vote counting process is witnessing great change as the votes will be counted with specific scanners for the first time ever.
Boxes with votes which during the night were delivered at the Naxxar Counting Centre were posted near their respective tables. These are divided according to the districts.
The vote counting starts when the boxes are all opened and the votes will be placed face downwards. This process took more time than expected, and therefore the demonstration of votes was delayed by around one and a half hours from the scheduled time of 7.00am.
Each vote will be opened and shown to the agents who are behind the perspex. The votes are placed in specific boxes to be passed on for scanning. Invalid votes are marked and rubber stamped.
All the votes will be scanned and the system automatically puts aside the dubious or invalid votes. The dubious votes are handed to an adjudicators board who, if they are not agreed upon, are passed to the Electoral Commission which gives a final decision.
All of the scanned votes are shown on 78 monitors spread along the vote counting hall. The monitor shows the original vote and its interpretation according to the machine reading. Malta is the only country which is demonstrating all the votes on monitors, and not only samples.
Finally, the total of each box appears on the monitors. Within three minutes the system counts the first and second preferences, and therefore the result of the elected candidate.
The parties will have a four-hour access to the system to evaluate the result. The official result by the Electoral Commission cannot be issued before 11.00pm.