Ensuring two independent counts at elections

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The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has today decided that all municipalities shall count the votes in the preliminary count by hand. “In this way, we will have two independent counts, ensuring the highest possible accuracy of the results,” says Monica Mæland, Minister of Local Government and Modernisation.

Security and trust are vital for the conduct of elections. Voters must be confident that the result is correct and that they get the composition of the Storting, county council and municipal council that was voted for. This is a cornerstone of democracy.

The Ministry has full confidence in our current electoral system, but is now adding an extra layer of security by introducing obligatory manual preliminary counting of all votes. Many municipalities already count the votes by hand.

“The solution that is used to scan ballot papers is safe, but we are not willing to take any chances when it comes to public confidence in our electoral system. The new regulation ensures two independent counts. This is a simple way of ensuring even greater confidence in election results,” says Mæland.

Together the Ministry and the Directorate of Elections have prepared a guide on the regulation, describing methods for manual vote counting and spot checks that municipalities can perform during the counting process.

A number of other amendments to the regulation have also been adopted, including in the provision on the design of ballot papers for municipal council and county council elections, since many people want to elect more candidates to the municipal council and county council than the current ballot papers allow for.


The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation’s press telephone: (+47) 22 24 25 00