Concern over youth Parliament poll double vote ‘farce’ in East Dunbartonshire election

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QUESTIONS are being asked this week about the voting process for the Scottish Youth Parliament election.

The elections were run by East Dunbartonshire Council in partnership with Young Scot card and young people
voted on Thursday, March 14 and
Friday, March 15 at polling stations and online.

However, many pupils at school have claimed that they were able to vote twice because they could use their Young Scot card once and a temporary number which was issued to everyone in case they didn’t have a card.

Andrew Perry, a pupil at Bearsden Academy, says the system was a ‘farce’ as it left candidates who no longer attend school at a disadvantage.

He said: “Some people voted twice and it was also possible to vote for candidates in other constituencies - which completely undermines the seriousness of the election.

“It’s a complete nonsense. Most pupils have Young Scot cards but those who have left school might not have one so they could only vote once.

“This meant that a candidate at school could ask fellow pupils to vote for them twice.

“They could even get friends at other schools to vote for them even if their school isn’t in their constituency.

“Also some pupils at Bearsden Academy were confused about which constituency they should vote for and they accidentally voted for a candidate from the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency when their school is actually covered by the Clydebank and Milngavie.”

Last year the voting was run by the council as a paper ballot and votes were counted by hand.

Gordon Currie, head of education, said: “Young Scot card numbers were used to vote this year - this was endorsed by The Scottish Youth Parliament and adopted by 16 other local authorities.

“To avoid the problem of misplaced cards, all school pupils registered as having a Young Scot card were reissued with a temporary card with a copy of their existing number, which can only be used once to vote. It is not possible to use the same number to vote twice. Young people who had not previously had a card were allocated a temporary number.

“Anyone no longer at school and eligible to vote on the Young Scot database received a letter with a copy of their card number, while anyone who did not have a card could collect one upon supplying appropriate identification.

“Written instructions were provided at every polling station clearly outlining which constituency each voter belonged to and staff were also available to assist.

“If someone was able to vote twice, they would only be able to do so by dishonestly using another person’s number who had not voted.”