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Too close to call for Scottish vote

September 19, 2014

During the course of the past few years Scotland has seen a growing desire to become separated from the United Kingdom. The polls have closed, but the results are swaying between the Yes Scotland and the Better Together campaigns. This makes finding a clear winner at this time impossible.

Due to the fact that much of Scotland is barely populated, mail-in votes are rather common. For example, the Highlands (one of the most remote places in Scotland) accounts for only 4.4 percent of Scotland’s total population, with only 232,950 people inhabiting them. The problem with mail-in votes is that they take a while to both receive and tally. With any luck the votes will be counted and the winner of this monumental campaign will emerge shortly.

On Aug. 11th Scottish voters received a voting guide book to explain the rules regarding the vote and brief background knowledge about the vote. Some of the major things highlighted in the book were all of the specific requirements for the people of Scotland that make them eligible to vote. Currently in Scotland the legal voting age is 16 years old. Voters must also be a British or Northern Irish citizen, a European Union citizen, or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen. All voters must have been living in Scotland for at least a year prior to Sept. 18th and must have been registered to vote by Sept. 2nd of this year.

In the coming days Scotland can expect press statements from the leaders of both the Yes Scotland campaign (Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland) and the Better Together campaign (Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor of Exchequer). Hopefully this close vote will not result in accusations of voter fraud. This standstill will result in a lack of progress for Scotland until the winning side can move Scotland towards its future. Meaning that, in the case of a Yes vote, Scotland will not be able to negotiate with other countries or unions about currency, their status within the European Union, and the current location of their nuclear weapons until the vote is finalized.

Clearly this is a monumental vote that has extremely specific voting requirements. Fortunately, the Scots are not willing to make a hasty decision about their future. Scotland is counting every vote, because in this election, more than ever before, every Scot’s vote has the chance to change Scotland forever.

Michelle Nafziger
Contributing Writer

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