Instructions issued for smooth voting on referendum day

Scotland’s chief counting officer has announced the steps to be taken to ensure that voting in the Scottish Referendum goes as smoothly as possible.

Mary Pitcaithly said that her focus was on ensuring that all elements of planning and delivery of the Scottish Independence Referendum were undertaken with the interests of the voter at the heart of all decisions.

“I believe that the directions I have announced will inspire confidence and provide consistency in the process,” she said.

“We want to administer a successful referendum with a result that everyone will trust as accurate,” she added

Ms Pitcaithly was announcing that she would publish the formal notice for the referendum on August 13 and that poll cards would be issued to voters on August 14 and 15. Postal ballot papers would be issued by August 28, she explained.

A spokesman for Angus Council said this was one of eight directions that the CCO had issued to local counting officers, including Richard Stiff, the counting officer for Angus.

She said that other directions included an instruction that ballot papers must be white and that there would be one official mark for the whole of Scotland carried on all ballot papers. She said the front of the ballot paper would bear the official security mark and the back will carry a unique identifying number and the name of the relevant council area.

“Due to the anticipated high turnout across Scotland, counting officers are being directed to print 120 per cent of the ballot papers required for both postal voters and those who vote in person so there are always spare papers in case any are destroyed or damaged,” she added.

The chief counting officer has confirmed that the count will take place overnight on September 18 and start as soon as reasonably practicable after the close of the poll. The Angus count will take place in the Saltire Leisure Centre in Arbroath.