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.

Wales, Catalunya and the Basques May Follow Scotland in Its Search for Independence

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Republican writing supporting the Yes vote in the Scottish Referendum on a mountain in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.

 

MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Inspired by Scotland’s example Wales may also claim its independence in a few years, the Guardian reported Friday.

“It will take a lot of work but I think it can happen. I’m over 50 now but we can see independence here in my lifetime,” Welsh political campaigner and popular children”s author Angharad Tomos told the Guardian after returning from Scotland.

Before the Scottish referendum went forward, debates about independence in Wales were widely seen as impossible, but now there is a growing optimism among Welsh nationalists.

Although Welsh people are aware of the arguments against independence, such as the fact that Wales is not economically strong enough and is located too close to England to be separated, some locals still believe that one day Wales could secede from the United Kingdom. Just as the Scottish people do, Welsh claim that the reason for all of the problems in the country is Westminster’s dominance.

“People tell us we’re a poor country. Wales is not poor. We’ve got huge natural resources. We’re poor because Westminster makes the rules. They’ve never made the rules in favor of us and it’s getting worse. People are having to use food banks; I never thought that would happen. There’s so much unemployment in my area [north west Wales] that young people are disempowered and leaving,” Tomos said.

Some Welsh politicians agree that independence in Wales should no longer be seen as a pipe dream, but rather as a long-term aspiration.

“Six hundred years ago our state was destroyed. We’re playing catch-up. There are 641 castles in Wales. We may be the most militarily occupied nation in the history of Europe. We have to go through a period of de-occupation in our minds. In this century, maybe in our generation, Wales will be an independent state. We need to prepare for that,” the Guardian quoted Adam Price, Welsh politician and former Plaid Cymru member as saying.

Although the majority of Welsh people prefer to live just as they are now and do not want to change the status quo, with recent polls showing that only few percent of voters in Wales would back the independence, everyone agrees that a “Yes” vote is Scotland would have a major impact for the rest of the United Kingdom.

“While a decision to go it alone lies with the people of Scotland, a yes vote would have a major impact for the rest of the UK, and regardless of the result it is important for us to consider our future constitutional arrangements in Wales,” Carwyn Jones, the leader of Welsh Labour and the first minister told the Guardian.

The long-standing issue of the Scottish independence is to be settled by a referendum scheduled for September 18, when voters will be asked one question only, “Should Scotland become an independent country?”

If the majority of Scots vote for independence, then on March 24, 2016 Scotland will secede from the United Kingdom.