Aberdeenshire Schools Referendum on Scottish Independence
A Referendum on Scottish Independence took place in all 17 secondary schools and all 4 special schools in Aberdeenshire on 17 September,2013. Counting was staged at Meldrum Academy Games Hall on 18 September, exactly a year to the day before the whole of Scotland voted on the question of independence.
All secondary school pupils in Aberdeenshire were eligible to vote in this event and the same question was asked on ballot papers as that which was posed twelve months later:
“Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No.”
Staging a schools referendum on independence was designed to engage young people fully in the competing arguments for and against, and to reinforce the constitutional importance of the issue. It also represented the latest in the programme of schools elections organised by the Council's Electoral Participation Group, following the Schools General Election in 2010 and Schools Scottish Parliament Election/AV Referendum the following year. The purpose of these events was to encourage electoral participation, to seek to engage young people as fully as possible in the democratic process and to acquaint young people with formal voting and counting processes.
The Schools Referendum was run on highly authentic lines, featuring the use of real polling booths and ballot boxes, a secure voting process including ballot papers specifically printed for the project, and a single count event where results were declared by the Council's Depute Returning Officer.
The project was supported and endorsed by both the prospective lead campaign groups for the 2014 Referendum, Better Together and Yes Scotland. The Council is grateful for their help and backing.
11,653 secondary school pupils in Aberdeenshire took part in the vote. A total of 8718 voted No in response to the referendum question, with 2847 voting Yes. The turnout was 79.9%.
Official notices were also produced for the event, as attached below.
Please contact our Election Team for more information.