Yes voters say poll may be ‘nobbled’

Yes supporters plan to use pens to mark their ballot papers amid fears their vote may be altered if they use the pencils provided.

The Electoral Commission has confirmed to a group of independence campaigners they are allowed to use their own pens when they cast their vote.

The question was asked after the group claimed there was concern the outcome of the poll could be “nobbled” as polling stations provide pencils to people casting their votes, leaving the door open to ballots being changed at a later point according to Yes supporters.

Ballot papers are collected in sealed boxes at polling stations and taken away to be counted by independent officials who are observed by representatives of both the Yes and No camps.

But a posting on the “Independent Scot” Facebook page states, “Given the disparity between official poll results and the turnout at Yes meetings and unofficial polls, there has been a bit of a rumble that people are worried the real vote on 18th September will be nobbled as polling stations provide pencils to use on your ballot paper. If you are concerned that this is an issue, you can take your own pen to mark your ballot.”

The group, which promises to “cut through the propaganda and dissolve the mythology surrounding the Scottish independence debate” posted an email from an Electoral Commission official confirming “you may use your own pen to mark your ballot paper in the upcoming Scottish independence referendum”.

The posting has attracted hundreds of messages of support.