New Security For Ballots In Scotland
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During the 2014 referendum on Scottish Independence from the UK and in subsequent ballots a large number of voters have been concerned about using pencils to vote and also had concerns over whether or not their vote could subsequently be altered in transit.
While the security process that ballot boxes undergo is substantial, none the less, referendums and indeed elections are as much about ensuring that the electorate feels their vote is secure, as much as it is about them ensuring their vote is cast.
Therefore, Equal is proposing a new a new set of security precautions to be implemented in Scottish Parliament Elections, Council Elections & Any Future Referendum on constitutional matters.
We propose the creation of security tabbing, a process where ballots would be printed with a translucent window with paper backing. After casting their vote or selecting their choice, the voter would peel back the paper, exposing the adhesive and pulling the window down over their ballot choice, thereby ensuring that their choice could not be altered whether written in ink or in pencil. This window would be made using the same material used by banks to secure sensitive customer information, the result of its attempted removal being that it would tear the surface of the ballot paper, thereby ensuring that it cannot be altered.
This simple change would not alter the cost of ballots by much but would instil greater confidence in the electoral system.
Furthermore, we seek the Scottish Government to have at polling places a list of acceptable list of writing utensils which may be used to cast a ballot and that the guidance is clear that a ballot may be cast using Pencil, Black Ink or Blue Ink.
We also seek the Scottish Government to include this guidance in pre-ballot literature sent out to the electorate before a vote to ensure that there is no confusion on the right of the individual to use such utensils during a ballot.
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