IT is essential to use your vote and I would never suggest otherwise. It was hard fought for and won by suffragettes and other democrats. I remember one precious nugget that I picked up from an auld comrade Tony Benn. Tony asserted that polling day is the one day when the rich man is equal with the poor man. So, for me, democracy is meaningful in that my vote could be well worth millions and it is my duty as a citizen in a democracy to ensure that it is not wasted, misplaced or worse still, used against me.

So, I really get the heebie-jeebies when I read articles such as Angus Robertson’s (Why postal votes are the way to go for May’s election, February 20). Angus says there is an extremely high degree of trust in our electoral processes and in the same article attributes Biden’s success to Democrats and their drive to recruit the poor and minorities to use postal ballots. The type of thing Angus is suggesting in his article perhaps.

READ MORE: Angus Robertson: Why postal votes are the way to go for May’s Holyrood election

He cites Trump’s failure to acknowledge defeat by pre-empting the outcome with allegations of postal ballot rigging and how that led to insurrection. It is a scary prospect. Especially when I am forced to confront the fact that I do not have an extremely high degree of trust in the electoral process and especially not when it comes to postal ballots. Does this align me with the well-disgraced Trump? Should I be deterred from expressing a view on the security of postal votes?

Truthfully, how many of us feel that – no matter how successful the Open Minds campaign might be – we will never see the results necessary to give Scotland its political independence? How can we trust a system when during the referendum in 2014, Tory leader Ruth Davidson can give an indication of the outcome of postal ballots on national television before the polling stations were closed! There have been no criminal sanctions against the new Baroness Davidson, unless the call to the House of Lords is the punishment. Indeed, several prominent Labour party people were also predicting postal ballot outcomes before the actual referendum and their predictions were remarkably accurate.

READ MORE: Scotland gears up for ‘Covid-19 Holyrood election’ in May

Unfortunately for me, with connections to Argyll and Bute, it did not help my sense of disbelief to learn that the postal vote in that region was 96.4%. An extraordinary result. I had recently moved out of the area but with electoral rolls usually being anything up to a year out of date, I had the suspicion that some chicanery was afoot. I had an idea that my name could have been on the electoral roll and might have been cashed in. Is it even possible to discover this?

It did not help reassure me at all when a group of activist campaigners in Argyll and Bute investigated the anomalies and could only conclude fraud involving external interference. The subsequent official inquiry and the role of those administering and protecting our electoral systems did little to assuage my misgivings.

Do I trust the Unionists to let democracy take its natural course when Westminster has already ignored national and international law and lied countless times because the end justifies the means? Or will Westminster do whatever it takes to win? I feel slightly nervous to learn that Scotland’s votes might not be counted immediately upon the close of polls. More time for these equivalent million-pound chits to be lying around somewhere. If Angus, or anyone, could give me a cast-iron guarantee that my vote will be safe in its journey from my Covid-free fingers to its seat in Holyrood without fear of contamination then I might consider a postal ballot. Until then I will continue to nurture a healthy suspicion of what those in power are prepared to do to deny the rest of us a share of power.

Patricia Logan