*LDRS WALES*

AN ELECTRONIC voting system could be re-introduced at full council meetings in Caerphilly even though it could slow down the voting process and lengthen sessions.

The authority has previously trialled the electronic system at full council meetings in November and December in 2014 and January 2015, following a Welsh Government grant.

Members have participated in training sessions for how to use the system, which requires councillors to sign in before selecting ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘abstain’ buttons on their consoles.

The recommendation will go before the full council meeting on Thursday, May 10, following a body of work undertaken by the council’s democratic services committee.

“Democratic services committee are therefore asked to consider if they wish to recommend to council the re-introduction of electronic voting at all future meetings of full council,” said the report.

“There may be some impact upon meetings if it is agreed to revert to electronic voting, which may slow down the voting process and increase the length of meetings to some degree.

“In addition, if there are any motions proposed during the course of the meeting the motion would have to be input into the voting system by a member of staff before the vote could be taken.”

Members will be informed of the procedure of how to vote electronically, which would be slowly phased into future full council meetings.

“If members agree to endorse the recommendations from democratic services committee and re-introduce the electronic voting system, it might be beneficial to consider a transition period,” said the report.

“The electronic voting system could be used for one report at the first meeting, and this could be increased incrementally over the next three meetings.”

However, if the voting system breakdowns or is unavailable during a full council meeting, members will vote using their current method – a show of hands.

The mayor would have the deciding vote in the event of a tie, and their vote will be issued verbally rather than electronically or with the hand.

If implemented by Caerphilly County Borough Council, it could mirror the method used in the Siambr – the debating chamber at the Welsh Assembly,

The system was first introduced after Caerphilly agreed to implement webcasting and electronic voting of full council meetings in October 2014 following a £40,000 grant from the Welsh Government.