People in Scotland have begun voting on whether the country should stay in the UK or become an independent nation. Voters will answer “Yes” or “No” to the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” With 4,285,323 people – 97% of the electorate – registered to vote, a historically high turnout is expected. Votes will be cast at 2,608 polling places across the country until 22:00 on Thursday. The result is expected early on Fridaymorning. Once the polls have closed, ballot papers will be counted in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. These will include votes cast from the 789,024 postal vote applications, which was the largest volume of registration for postal votes ever in Scotland. After votes have been tallied, the counting officer in each area will communicate the result to the chief counting officer, Mary Pitcaithly, in Edinburgh. With her approval they will then make a declaration of the result.