More than a third of voters in the Scottish independence referendum think it was rigged, according to a survey by the Electoral Commission.
Survey results detailed in the the Electoral Commission's referendum report reveal that 34% of respondents believe fraud took place during the referendum, with 12% insisting it took place "a lot" and 22% "a little".
Those on the Yes side are significantly more likely to believe in referendum fraud, according to the survey. On the Yes side, 42% said there was fraud, but just 21% of No voters agreed.
In the days following the referendum, nearly 100,000 people signed an online petition demanding a recount of the referendum after "evidence" of fraud spread through social media. It said:
Countless evidences of fraud during the recent Scottish Referendum have come to light, including two counts of votes being moved in bulk into a No pile, Yes votes clearly being seen in No piles and strange occurrences with dual fire alarms and clear cut fraud in Glasgow.
Most respondents to the survey thought there was fraud because of what they saw in the media, although 7% believe it happened because they "heard from someone".
The 34% figure is the highest level of fraud perception the Electoral Commission has ever encountered in a post-election survey, it said.
A poll carried out by YouGov for BuzzFeed News before the referendum revealed a quarter of Scots believed MI5 spies were "working with the UK government to try and stop Scottish Independence", and 19% believed the referendum would probably be rigged.
In September, a spokesman for the chief counting officer for the referendum was forced to deny that vote-rigging took place. He said:
The chief counting officer is satisfied that all counts throughout Scotland were properly conducted and scrutinised by thousands of people representing both the Yes Scotland and the Better Together campaigns, as well as international election observers, media and police.
None of these people raised any concerns during the verification, counting and adjudication stages. It is most frustrating and does not recognise the immense work that so many people put into the planning and delivery of the count.
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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