An online petition demanding a revote in the Scottish independence referendum is now at almost 100,000 signatures as vote rigging conspiracies continue to gain momentum among disappointed pro-independence campaigners.
It didn’t take long for accusations of voting irregularities to start swirling after Scotland voted “No” to independence on September 18th. In the aftermath of the result, pro-independence Yes campaigners have taken to social media in large numbers to complain about reported incidents of vote fraud and demand a return to the polls.
(The #the45 hashtag refers to the 45% of voters who backed independence)
The accusations come despite First Minister Alex Salmond, leader of the Yes campaign, calling on pro-independence supporters to “accept the democratic decision.” Mary Pitcaithly, the chief counting officer for the referendum, also refuted accusations of irregularities claiming that both camps had been happy with how the vote was carried out (emphasis added):
The chief counting officer is satisfied that all counts throughout Scotland were properly conducted and scrutinized by thousands of people representing both the Yes Scotland and the Better Together campaigns, as well as international election observers, media and police.
None of these people raised any concerns during the verification, counting and adjudication stages.
Those demanding a recount, however, remain unconvinced. They cite Russian election observers that raised concerns that the results were “rigged” and point to videos that appear to show votes being shifted from Yes piles into No.
Responding to the claims, Pitcaithly says it appears that the women in the video “has put some papers on a pile by mistake and is then putting them right” and suggested that the “video is looped so it is deceptive in its presentation.”
So far, her rebuttals and Salmond’s intervention have failed to quell the calls for a recount. At the time of writing over 90,000 people have signed the e-petition at change.org. As one pro-independence blogger put it:
We believe that it is only a matter of time before the fullness of the truth comes out. There can be no doubt that the count was a fraud.
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