Mr Robathan said:
I am immensely grateful to all those involved in administering the recent local and European elections in Northern Ireland.
I thank the Chief Electoral Officer and his staff for their hard work and dedication, which has ensured that Northern Ireland is fully represented in Europe and that preparations can begin in earnest for the move to the new 11 council model.
I am aware of serious concerns expressed about the length of the counting process, particularly for the European elections. The PR-STV voting system remains the preferred option for most elections in Northern Ireland, including European elections. But, as demonstrated in other EU jurisdictions that use PR-STV, the count can often involve many stages that significantly increase the time taken to complete the count. We will work with the Chief Electoral Officer, Electoral Commission and the Northern Ireland parties to examine ways of speeding up the counting process, including looking at the possibility of introducing e-counting to Northern Ireland.