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Polls opened Thursday morning for a historic vote on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, the country split over whether separation would be beneficial. (Sept. 18)
SHOTLIST:AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLYEdinburgh, Scotland - September 18, 20141. Various of polling station2. SOUNDBITE (English) Name not provided, voter:"I voted yes. I think after 300 years we're due a change and it can't be any worse than this government."3. Various of polling station4. SOUNDBITE (English) David Wood, voter:"Basically we can still have the back-up of the United Kingdom, which will give us the security we need in a globalised world."5. Various of polling station6. SOUNDBITE (English) Tom Stone, voter:"I just don't believe that the Yes campaign was convincing enough about how it could go wrong. So they had all the best cases, but not the worst cases."7. Scottish and UK flags8. SOUNDBITE (English) Will Lorimer, voter:"It's a great dream to start in a new country, with a new sheet, with a multicultural country. It's not about nationality the vote. It's about a place being able to look after itself, so..."STORYLINE:Polls opened across Scotland on Thursday morning in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state.Votes will be cast at 2,600 polling stations until 10 pm local time (2100GMT).Turnout is expected to be high, with more than 4.2 (m) million people registered to vote - 97 percent of those eligible.Polling stations were busy across the country on Thursday morning including in Scotland's capital Edinburgh.Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will cast his vote near his home in northeast Scotland.Polls suggest the result is too close to call, with the pro-independence 'Yes' side gaining momentum in the final weeks of campaigning.If the 'Yes' side prevails, Salmond will realise a long-held dream of leading his country to independence.An alliance with England was formed in 1707.Voters will answer "Yes" or "No" to the referendum question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
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