Surge in local voters

Referendum, September 18th 2014.
Referendum, September 18th 2014.

A total of 95,533 people in the Borders have registered themselves to vote in today’s historic Yes-No independence referendum.

Youngsters aged 16 and 17 years have been given a referendum vote, with 2,539 new voters registered.

The total electorate in the Borders shows a big jump from the council elections of 2012, when the roll stood at 89,711.

It’s also up from the 91,406 that were registered for this year’s European poll.

There was a late surge between August 11 and the cut off date of September 9 – a total of 2,181 putting their names forward for the roll.

The rise is being looked on as an indication that the turnout today will be large.

At the 2012 Scottish Borders Council election the turnout was 41.9 per cent.

It’s being predicted that across Scotland today, more than 80 per cent of the electorate will make their way to the polling stations.

In the Borders 14,628 postal votes have issued and a further 1,020 have been give proxy voting rights.

There are 108 polling stations in the region, controlled by 381 staff.

Polling ends at 10pm sharp. Counting officer Tracy Logan stressed: “Make sure you leave plenty time before the 10pm deadline.

“Anyone that arrives after 10pm, by law, will not be able to vote.”

The referendum is being conducted on council areas –not parliamentary constituences – resulting in 32 counts.

Votes from the Borders will be counted overnight at the Border Union Agricultural Society complex at Springwood Park in Kelso.

Ms Logan will declare the Borders vote there and all local authority areas will send their results to the chief counting officer at Ingliston in Edinburgh. An all-Scotland running total will be made public throughout the night, with a final declaration expected around 7am – but by then the result should be clear.

Ms Logan commented: “As the world looks to events in Scotland, we will deliver a count which showcases the Borders and the professionalism of the Scottish Borders.”

But she isn’t predicting when the Borders result will be announced.