We’re nearly there. After months of debate and discussion, claim and counterclaim, after tens of thousands of leaflets, millions of words in the press and on social media sites, it’s almost time. The talking’s just about over, the politicians have had their say – tomorrow it’s down to you and me. Decision day …
The world’s eyes will be on Edinburgh tomorrow, and Scotland’s capital is ready to take centre stage and play a leading role on a historic day …
With less than a day left until the Scottish Independence Referendum, Edinburgh is geared up for its role in the historic poll.
Ballot boxes are being collected for delivery to polling places, staff trained and verification of postal votes has begun ahead of the count.
89.6% of postal voters have already cast their vote, with a total of 377,413 people registered to take part in the Referendum on Thursday.
And citizens are being asked to make their own preparations for the day to ensure they don’t miss out.
Sue Bruce, Counting Officer for Edinburgh and Chief Executive of City of Edinburgh Council, said: “After months of anticipation, the Referendum is finally upon us, and hundreds of thousands of people across the city are about to cast their vote.
“I am really pleased with the high rate of registration, which demonstrates the level of interest in the debate. We have a record number of registered voters in Edinburgh for this Referendum and therefore I would encourage visitors to leave plenty of time to visit their local polling station and to mark an X in the box of their choice when filling out their ballot papers.”
Polling places will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday 18 September, though the public are being advised to avoid busy periods, expected to be before and after normal working hours. Where possible, voters are encouraged to visit mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
Information on local polling places can be found on the polling card delivered to homes or on the Council website.
Postal voters who have not yet returned their ballot paper by post will still be able to hand it in at Waverley Court or City Chambers receptions or at an Edinburgh polling place on Thursday.
Those planning to take part in the Referendum are also being advised to take great care when filling out their ballot paper, by marking a single X next to their choice. Additional comments, marks or mistakes can result in a vote not being counted.
Anyone who is registered to vote but, due to unforeseen circumstances, is unable to make it to a polling station, may need an emergency proxy vote, which can be applied for on the Lothian Valuation Joint Board’s website.
Once your vote has been cast
All votes are secure and accounted for so that the final result can be trusted. Every ballot paper, whether used, unused or spoilt, is accounted for and treated as highly sensitive and confidential.
Votes will be counted as soon as possible after the close of the poll at 10pm. Separate counts will be held by each local authority in Scotland with 32 local totals leading to one overall national result.
Full details of vote security and counting are available on the Council website.