Election Day In Scotland

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Today, Scots ages 16 and up will decide the future of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Ballot boxes have been delivered to thousands of polling stations across the country, including by boat and helicopter to the islands and highlands.

The media isn't reporting on anything that might sway opinions - no interviews with politicians, no reference to campaigns, nothing.

"There's a real buzz in the atmosphere," Rich Preston, who is covering the independence vote for NPR, tells Here & Now's Robin Young.

Preston said 98 percent of the electorate — over 4.2 million people — are registered to vote, and about 80 percent are expected to vote. The votes will be counted by hand at each of the local authorities and sent to Edinburgh where the tally will be confirmed and announced through the night.

"It's around breakfast time on Friday that the complete result of the referendum — and therefore the future of Scotland and the United Kingdom — will be known," Preston said. "What's interesting is there's a small quirk of law which means that whatever result the Chief Counting Officer — a woman called Mary Pitcaithly — declares is legally binding, even if she reads the wrong result. But she's assured everyone that that won't happen."


  • Rich Preston, covering the independence vote in Scotland for NPR. He tweets @RichPreston.

This segment aired on September 18, 2014.


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