Pupils have their say in mock ballot

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Aberdeenshire pupils have voted overwhelmingly “no” in a mock ballot on Scottish independence.

More than 11,000 youngsters took part in the poll last week on whether the country should be independent, which represented a 79.9% turn-out.

The ballot resulted in 8,718 voting no in answer to the question - “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.

A total of 2,847 pupils voted yes, with 88 spoiled ballot papers.

The project involved more than 14,500 pupils at 17 secondary and four special schools. At Ellon, 244 pupils voted yes, while 641 were against. At Meldrum, 188 voted yes and 590 said no.

pupils vioAberdeenshire Council and Grampian Electoral Registration Office helped the young people set up, contest, and hold their own polls.

The council’s depute returning officer and elections co-ordinator, Allan Bell, said: “This project has mirrored what is happening at a national level and gave young people the chance to find out about what is happening, as well as an insight into how the referendum will be conducted.”

Education Officer, Andy Ritchie, said: “This event has been another great success in engaging young people in the electoral process and will hopefully impact on electoral participation in the area in the future.

“The hard work and commitment of pupils and staff is really commendable and the feedback we’ve received on this in terms of the educational benefits has been excellent.”