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Egypt Voting Peaceful Despite Record Turnout

Campaigners accused of breaking minor rules
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2011 7:44 PM CST

(Newser) – Egypt's first free election in more than 80 years went smoothly today despite massive turnout that kept polls open 2 hours later than planned, the Guardian reports. Candidates made some accusations of tampering after campaigners broke the rules, handing out pamphlets near voting booths, or "helping" voters understand their ballots—but breaches were minor compared to dire predictions that followed days of deadly rioting in Cairo. (See photos from the election.)

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Voters did face organizational hiccups, like polling stations that opened late or never opened at all, Al Jazeera reports. And with voting continuing tomorrow, activists fear ballot boxes will be unsafe in the overnight custody of the military or the interior ministry. Some protesters boycotted the vote entirely, saying the military will remain too powerful after parliament is elected. But on the upside, women turned out in droves today. "For 30 years my parents' generation said they were denied a voice," said a woman waiting in line. "So I've come here on behalf of my family. If we don't vote we lose." (Read more Egypt stories.)

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