Russian Observers Suspect ‘Special’ Voting Technologies in Scotland

Russian observers have suspicions over the "special" voting technologies used during the Scottish independence referendum.

Russian observers have suspicions over the “special” voting technologies used during the Scottish independence referendum.

Topic: Scotland on the Eve of Independence Referendum

EDINBURGH, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian observers have suspicions over the “special” voting technologies used during the Scottish independence referendum and expect the announcement of results that will either confirm or disprove their suspicions.

“The absence of lines at voting offices could indicate the use of special voting technologies. About 20 percent vote in advance, via post. From our experience, we know that in 2012 Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney during presidential elections in early [stages of the] voting. That is, he won prior to the day of the election. Whether this technology was used during the referendum, we will know when the votes have been counted,” Igor Borisov, the chairman of the Council of the Russian Public Institute of Election Law and the head of the Russian observation mission, told RIA Novosti.

“If the organizers of the referendum announce the results of the postal votes separately from the results received on the day of the election, then it will be possible to assess how great the influence of technologies on the vote was,” he added.

Borisov noted that voter turnout is very high. According to members of the polling offices, by 10-11 a.m. BST (09:00-10:00 GMT) as many people came to vote as there were during the European Parliament elections in spring.

“At the same time, I cannot say that people wait to vote. I haven’t noticed anything like that. Although, there are lines of two-three people to take to the ballot,” Borisov said.

The Russian observation mission arrived in Edinburgh yesterday evening, comprising four specialists to monitor the Scottish independence referendum. Russian representatives will also monitor the vote count.

Why Musicians Will Be Disappointed Today That Scotland Voted ‘No”

David Maclean

David Maclean is the drummer and producer for Django Django. He grew up in Edinburgh, Fife and The Highlands
Although I would’ve voted ‘Yes’ if I still lived in Scotland – I’m now in London – I was always of the belief that the way people were galvanised to become active about politics in Scotland during the Referendum was so important and something that has to keep going. Not just in Scotland but across the rest of Britain: it’s a time for change and if Scotland can achieve that as part of Britain, that’s good.You’d be hard pressed to find anyone voting – or supporting – ‘No’ yesterday in the music industry.


From Honeyblood to Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite and Björk to Belle & Sebastian, the only person who seemed to express support for a ‘No’ was David Bowie.


I suspect it has something to do with creative people being quite open-minded and having a good vision. Whether you’re a musician, writer or film-maker, you have to use your imagination to picture what you’re trying to achieve and it takes vision to see a political and social construct changing. It means the status quo alters and you take a risk. Creative people are quite good at taking risks both in their work and in their own life because they don’t always know where the pay packet is coming from. I think they’re more willing for change. Also a creative person’s psyche makes them aware of injustice and often vocal about fighting against it.


Austerity in Scotland hit people hard, particularly things like youth clubs and libraries; the sense that community was being dismantled is very difficult for a socialist country like Scotland to accept. But in a way it is fertile ground for the creation of art and music if you have something to fight against. Would people make great music if they were all funded properly and comfortable? Probably not. You need to have something to battle against.
Also musicians usually have a problem with authority and strictures will only restrict your creative output. How will the music landscape in Scotland change now the votes has come through? Maybe people will make angrier music. If you had two timelines and you looked back on a ‘yes’ and ‘no’, the music would probably be different. But thing I’m sure of is that music in Scotland will be fine. It’s embedded in our culture and our psyche and I think music is in safe hands no matter where the nations go. Music scenes will come and go regardless of politics. You won’t see Django Django making a nationalist metal or screamo record any time soon but it does influence our thinking.


There is a kinship between Scottish people in the music industry. We all draw towards each other with a sense of camaraderie and a shared bond. I’ve been following Stuart Braithwaite, Limmy and Alex Kapranos’ tweets and Steve Mason always has a good outlook on it.


But it’s never “Gung ho! Freedom! Let’s run off into the sunset!” It’s much more of a skeptical hope. Everybody understands that politics and politicians can be tricky. Just by becoming independent doesn’t mean it’s all going to be roses. People are aware of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. I didn’t begrudge David Bowie or anyone who voted ‘No’ and, actually, part of me did want the country to vote ‘No’ so we could change Britain together. There’s definitely value in that.


Salmond: “The Dream Shall Never Die”

Scotland's First Minister Alec Salmond reacts as he concedes defeat in the independence referendum at the "Yes" Campaign headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014. (Reuters / Russell Cheyne)

Scotland’s First Minister Alec Salmond reacts as he concedes defeat in the independence referendum at the “Yes” Campaign headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014. (Reuters / Russell Cheyne)

Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) is resigning from office after losing Thursday’s independence referendum.

Scots voted to stay in the UK following an intense campaign. The ‘No’ campaign rallied 55 percent of votes against 45 percent ‘Yes’ votes.

“We lost the referendum vote but Scotland can still carry the political initiative,” he told journalists and supporters.

“For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.”

In terms of who will replace him, Salmond says there are a “number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader.”

When asked what his reasons were for resigning, Salmond said “I had to make a judgement as to whether I’m best placed to take that opportunity forward – and I think others are.”

Deputy First Minister and Deputy SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is the overwhelming favourite to replace Salmond as party leader.

The First Minister spoke to Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday. He said the PM would not commit to a second reading vote by March 27 on a devolved powers ‘Scotland Bill’, which had been promised by former-PM and ‘No’ campaigner Gordon Brown during the campaign.

“I suspect he cannot guarantee the support of his party,” Salmond said, referring to the backbench Tory rebellion against new powers to Scotland.

“But today the point is this. The real guardians of progress are not the politicians at Westminster, or even at Holyrood, but the energised activism of tens of thousands of people who I predict will refuse meekly to go back into the political shadows.”

Leadership nominations will open at the SNP’s Annual Conference in Perth, November 13-15, said Salmond.

“After the membership ballot I will stand down as First Minister to allow the new leader to be elected by due Parliamentary process.

“Until then I will continue to serve as First Minister. After that I will continue to offer to serve as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeenshire East.”

Salmond said it had been “the privilege of my life” to serve as First Minister.

Closing his statement, he outlined the position facing supporters of independence.

“The position is this. We lost the referendum vote but can still carry the political initiative. More importantly Scotland can still emerge as the real winner.”

Alex Salmond resigns hours after Scotland’s no vote is revealed