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All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
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Vote Counting Begins in Scotland on Independence

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — The polls have closed and vote counting is underway in Scotland’s historic referendum on whether to end the country’s 307-year-old union with England.

Polling places reported a heavy turnout Thursday. More than 4.2 million people were registered to vote — 97 percent of those eligible.

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A woman uses an umbrella featuring the words: ‘Scotland’s Future in Scotland’s Hands’ in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 15, 2014, ahead of the referendum on Scotland’s independence. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

As soon as the polls closed, vote counting began at 32 regional centers across Scotland. The final result on the independence vote is expected sometime after 0500GMT (1 a.m. EDT) Friday.

A vote for independence will trigger 18 months of negotiations on how the two countries will separate their institutions before Scotland’s planned Independence Day on March 24, 2016.

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