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The fastest tally in town could transform system

The fastest tallyman in the country is gearing up to revolutionise how indicative election results are delivered.

Arthur Doohan isn't going to get elected today for the Green Party. But the Tallaght Central candidate will have a significant role to play in future elections if the 'Tally-Text' system he has developed comes off.

Rather than a fellah marking a bit of paper and passing it back to another fellah to give to another fellah to input it into a computer, Doohan's faster system involves a person standing with a mobile phone at the barrier.

As votes get opened, a number -- assigned to each candidate -- is punched on the keypad. When 50 votes go in, the numbers are uploaded directly to a website.

The result is the fastest tally in town.

Doohan, a former international banker and derivatives trader, plans to take the system for a test-drive with the Dublin South by-election.

"We have written a small java application anybody can download. They run the application which is no more complicated than an SMS text message," he said. "It's prompted to send the message from the application stored in the phone."

Some day soon, expect this to be the way all tallymen operate.

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