Voters will start to receive polling cards for the Scottish independence referendum from August 14 with postal ballots out two weeks later.
Chief counting officer, Falkirk Council’s chief executive officer Mary Pitcaithly, has set the official clock ticking by announcing details of the timetable leading up to the September 18 poll when Scotland will decide if it wants to break away from the United Kingdom or not.
Her directions to ensure “the proper and effective” conduct of the referendum includes an instruction that ballot papers must be white and carry one official security mark on the front. The back will feature a unique identifying number and the name of the relevant council area.
Counting officers have been told to print 20 per cent more ballot papers than they require in case any are destroyed or damaged. To minimise delays on polling day, one polling clerk for every 800 voters eligible to cast their vote in person, will be on duty and additional staff will be ready to move between polling stations to help manage peaks and troughs.
The count, which in Falkirk will be held in Grangemouth Sports Complex, will take place overnight and is expected to start after the polling stations close at 10 p.m.
Mrs Pitcaithly said: “My focus is ensuring all elements of planning and delivery of the Scottish independece referendum are undertaken with the interests of the voters at the heart of all decisions. I believe these directions will give confidence and provide consistency in the process so we can administer a successful referendum with a result that everyone will trust as accurate. We are committed to ensuring our voting and counting processes are robust, transparent and secure to ensure voters in Falkirk and across Scotland have confidence in the national result.”