One of the great myths that’s perpetuated in the media – you hear this a lot on the radio – is the one that ‘both sides are excited about the huge turnout’ – or ‘both sides have been involved in encouraging people to register’.
This is simply not true.
One side have consistently shut down debate and are actively hoping for a low turn out. In fact, you may remember Margaret Curran’s prediction that the turnout would be ‘around 38%.
Here are twelve true stories from voter registration campaigns over the last few months…
1. A woman rushed through in her pyjamas to register at Glasgow City Council at the last minute from Renfrew.
2. First time voter, 16 years old, was so excited to get to vote so came to Glasgow City Council in a saltire with his mum.
3. In Easterhouse – 72 year old man, never voted in his life, registered for the first time.
4. In Ibrox – yes campaigners were standing outside a close registering someone and people started coming out of closes along the street and phoning friends to get them to come down to register.
5. A homeless man just before registration closed asked those standing outside the council to assist him in filling in the Declaration of a Local Connection form.
6. A Woman returned from holiday, her plane landing in Glasgow Airport at 10:30pm, she assumes she will not be able to register. She then looks at Twitter to see activists are standing outside Glasgow City Council with forms, so she comes straight from airport and makes it on time with tears of happiness in her eyes.
7. A non-registered voter called Yes Dundee to find out how get signed up, so Yes Dundee sent a car to get the whole family to the registration office for 10pm.
8. A Yes campaigner canvassing in Aberdeen said: “I’m Yes but I’ve missed the six o’clock deadline”. The yes campaigners said “don’t worry, the deadline is midnight, here’s a form, fill it in now and I’ll drop it off”. The voter then runs and gets all her friends on the street to register as well.
9. 23 year old who said he’d not even bothered to register to vote in the 2010 and 2011 General and Scottish elections because none of the parties on the ballot paper had ever appealed to him registered.
10. A Lithuanian couple registered to vote after being informed by a No campaigner that there citizenship was in jeopardy from a yes vote and they might not be allowed to vote.
11. Yes campaigners decided rather than just standing at a stall on the street they would just go into bars and cafes instead, and registered 25 mostly young bar workers who didn’t even know that it was the final day to register.
12. A homeless man named JoJo who had never been on the voters roll but wanted to get registered turned up outside Glasgow City Council as the queue of people were building up outside to register. Yes campaigners gave him a dozen Declaration of Local Connection forms which he said he would circulate among his friends at the Hamish Allan Centre.