Guidelines Issued Ahead Of Referendum

11 August 2014, 09:26 | Updated: 11 August 2014, 09:48

Every household in Scotland is being sent an impartial guide to voting in the independence referendum.

The Electoral Commission's guide contains factual information on how to register to vote and the different ways of casting a referendum vote.

The 12-page booklet also contains information from the two lead campaign groups at the referendum, Yes Scotland and Better Together, along with a joint statement from the Scottish and UK governments on what would happen after the referendum in the event of either a 'yes' or 'no' result.

Advertising on TV, radio, billboard and online will raise awareness of the booklet and remind people that they need to be registered to vote by the September 2 deadline in time to vote in the referendum on September 18.

The Electoral Commission has also teamed up with Facebook to highlight the campaign.

The voting guide is being sent to more than 2.5 million households in Scotland as part of the initiative, which launched today.

Alex Robertson, director of communication at the Electoral Commission, said: "The amount of interest and debate in the referendum has been fantastic. As the registration deadline and polling day itself get closer, it's essential that everyone knows how to participate in this historic vote.

"People will have seen and heard a lot about the referendum already so we wanted to create a campaign that stands out from everything else. Our impartial booklet is visually distinctive and voters should look out for it coming through their door or they can read it now at''

Facebook users in Scotland who visit the social network site over the next two to three weeks will see posts in their news feed raising awareness of the guide and stressing the importance of casting a ballot.

Users over 16 will also be able to add a "Registered to Vote'' Facebook 'Life Event' to their timeline to announce that they have registered and plan to vote in the referendum next month.

Elizabeth Linder, Facebook's politics and government specialist for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, said: "Millions of people from all walks of life use Facebook in Scotland, and have turned to Facebook in recent weeks to share their views on the independence debate.

"But participating in the debate online isn't enough to get your opinion counted on September 18. If you're not registered, you can't vote. It's that simple.

"We hope that by enabling millions of people in Scotland to see this guide in their Facebook news feed, more people will know how to cast their ballot and have their say.''

As well as advertising directly to the public, the commission is partnering with organisations to target information at specific groups who are less likely to be registered to vote.

These include the National Union of Students, Shelter Scotland, and Young Scot.

The commission's guide to voting is also available in a number of alternative formats and languages including Braille, British Sign Language and large print.