AQO 428/17-22 – Electronic voting in Assembly

Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Assembly Commission what plans it has to introduce technology for Member electronic voting in Plenary sittings.

Assembly Commission: The Standing Orders of the Assembly do not currently provide for electronic voting by Members. Standing Order 26 provides that the Speaker shall judge whether or not a question be carried by collecting voices. Standing Order 27 provides that, in certain circumstances, rather than collecting voices the Speaker shall ask the Assembly to divide with Members voting by passing through the relevant lobby.
In order for electronic voting by Members in plenary sittings to be introduced, it would require the Committee on Procedures to bring forward new standing orders and for the Assembly to agree these with cross-community support.

It is not the role of the Assembly Commission to seek to amend the Assembly’s Standing Orders. However, the Assembly Commission has supported a previous Committee on Procedures through the provision of advice and options in relation to electronic voting.

Should the current Committee on Procedures wish to consider bringing forward new standing orders to provide for electronic voting, the Assembly Commission would, of course, work closely with it to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and technology could be put in place.