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Burma votes in first democratic election in years

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at a polling station to cast her vote during Burma's election. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at a polling station to cast her vote during Burma’s election. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

RANGOON, Burma — Millions of residents voted Sunday in Burma’s first democratic election in years, a historic event that could mark a new era for the country and pave the way to power for the longtime opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

By nightfall, hundreds of supporters of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party had gathered on the street in front of the party headquarters, waving red balloons, dancing, chanting and watching local election results on big-screen TVs. They cheered every time a yellow ballot was unfurled with a stamp next to a golden peacock, the symbol for the NLD. Some preliminary results might be known Monday, but the final official results could take days.

“We have been suffering for 25 years. Today, we change the old system and bring in a new one,” Theingi, a homemaker and mother of two, said at the rally. She uses only one name.

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