People were seen queing up at stations before they opened at 8am for voting that will close at 5pm. The Election Commission has said that it expects to release the first unofficial results by 8pm.
The EC expects voter turnout of at least 80% for the long-anticipated poll, which it hopes will be the first successfully completed vote since July 2011 as the election held in 2014 before the coup was invalidated.
Poll officials base their optimism on advance voting last Sunday when almost 87% of those who had registered cast their ballots. About 51 million eligible voters, 7 million of them first timers, will determine the future of the country.
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