Scotland's Big Decision

Tomorrow, legal residents of Scotland, ages 16 and older, will be voting in a referendum to decide their country's independence from the United Kingdom. While ending a centuries-old union is a complex and emotional issue, the wording on the ballot could not be more simple -- "Should Scotland be an independent country?" -- with only two choices, yes or no. Interest in tomorrow's vote is extremely high, and more than 97 percent of Scotland's eligible voters are registered to vote. "No" voters had the edge in polls for most of the past year, but "Yes" voters surged ahead to take a brief lead just weeks ago. At the moment, polls favor a "No" vote, but the slim margin makes the outcome too close to call. As Scotland prepares to decide its future, here is a collection of images of the campaign, the voters, and the country. [32 photos total]

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1
Ninian Gibson, 16, poses for a photograph at Duddingston Loch in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 4, 2014. Ninian, who plans to vote "No" in the referendum, said, "Though I think Scotland should have full control over its own affairs I think that the U.K. is an important force in the world that it should be kept united." (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
2
Yes campaigners stand near No supporters at Dumbarton Town Hall as former Prime Minister Gordon Brown leaves after attending a rally in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 16, 2014. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
3
A child waves a pro-independence "Yes" flag on the streets of Aberdeen in Scotland, on September 15, 2014. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images) #
4
Eddie Izzard delivers a speech at a pro-union rally at Trafalgar square in central London on September 15, 2014. Hundreds of people, supporters of the 'Lets Stay Together' campaign, gathered ahead of a referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country that will take place in Scotland on Thursday, September 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #
5
A poster supporting the Yes vote is displayed on a building in Old Town on September 13, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #
6
Piper Danny Hutcheson, 16, poses for a photograph on the coastline of Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on March 6, 2014. Danny will vote "No" in the referendum because he is unsure what would happen with a "Yes" vote. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
7
Saffron Dickson, 16, in Glasgow city center on April 1, 2014. Saffron, who is active in the Radical Independence Campaign said, "It's crazy not to have self determination. We need complete control over everything. It's the only way the Scottish people can make decisions for themselves and not by an out of touch government." (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
8
Zak Clarkson, who will be 16 at the time of the referendum, poses outside Lochend amateur boxing club in Edinburgh on March 6, 2014. Zak plans to vote "No" in the referendum. He said, "We are stronger together as Great Britain, especially in things like the Olympics. I also think we have a better army within Great Britain." (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
9
Scottish country dancer Mairie McGillivray, 16, dances on the beach at Bridgend on the Hebridean island of Islay, on March 11, 2014. Mairie will vote "yes" in the referendum and said, "I believe that Scotland isn't governed by democratic means due to our lack of representation in Westminster and that we would be better off as an independent nation, both culturally and financially." (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
10
Hannah Campbell, 16, sits in a barn at her family's farm in Auldearn, Scotland, on March 9, 2014. Hannah will be voting "No" in the referendum and said, "I will vote no as I think that our country is fine the way it is and we don't need such dramatic change". (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
11
Lewis MacAskill, 23, a university graduate poses for a photograph in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides on September 13, 2014. MacAskill said, "I want to a see a fairer and more prosperous Scotland. A country that can take care of its own people, can take care of its sick and fallen on hard times. I don't want to be lumbered with Tory governments we never voted for." (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
12
School student Katie Cocozza poses at her friends house in Linlithgow in central Scotland on March 16, 2014. Katie will be 16 when she votes in September and plans to vote "No" at the moment. She said, "There is a lack of engagement within my year group and we haven't seen much campaign material from each of the political parties explaining their position and the effects it would have specifically for my generation." (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
13
Lachlan Eggo, 16, from Dumfries, southwest Scotland poses in the border town of Gretna Green on March 3, 2014. Lachlan is undecided on how he will vote in the referendum and is going to do research into the issue. He said it isn't really a topic of conversation amongst his friends at school. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
14
Cuckoo's Bakery in Edinburgh, Scotland, reveals the result of a "cupcakes referendum" that the bakery has been holding since March 7 by selling Yes, No and undecided cupcakes, on September 17, 2014. In the informal poll 47.7% bought "No" cupcakes, 43.5% bought "Yes" and 8.8% bought "undecided" decorated cakes. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #
15
Prime Minister David Cameron addresses members of the No campaign in Aberdeen, Scotland, on September 15, 2014. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
16
People listen as Sir Bob Geldof speaks to members of the public and supporters of the "Better Together" campaign from a raised stage in Trafalgar Square on September 15, 2014 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #
17
A "Yes" campaign sign on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides on September 13, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
18
A "No Thanks" Campaign placard sits on a fence at the border with England on September 14, 2014 in Carter Bar, Scotland. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
19
Pro-independence campaigners Sandy and Ed Hastings pose wearing traditional Highland dress in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 16, 2014. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images) #
20
Opposing yes and no signs are seen in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 15, 2014. (Reuters/Russell Cheyne) #
21
Loyalists march past a Union flag during a pro-Union rally in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 13, 2014. About 12,000 Protestant loyalists from Northern Ireland and Scotland marched through central Edinburgh on Saturday in an emotional show of support for keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez) #
22
The word "Yes" is scrawled on the sand as people look out over the bay at Luskentyre beach on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides on September 12, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
23
Pro-union supporters attend a rally in Trafalgar Square in London on September 15, 2014, ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. Thousands gathered in London to urge Scottish voters to reject independence and stay in the United Kingdom. Demonstrators in the rally in central Trafalgar Square waved union jack flags and held up signs reading "let's stay together" and "Scotland we love you, don't go." (Cyril Villemain/AFP/Getty Images) #
24
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney, look on as 19 year old apprentice fabricator Craig McKee angle-grinds a yes sign during their visit to Steel Engineering on September 16, 2014 in Renfrew, Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
25
A "No" campaign placard stands in a field on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides on September 15, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
26
A "Yes" campaign sticker is affixed to a road sign on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides on September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
27
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond poses for a photograph as he flies over the Forth Bridge, near Edinburgh, on September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
28
Becky the dog peers over a No placard as people wait for Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond to do a walkabout in Perth, Scotland, on September 12, 2014. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez) #
29
Jockey Carol Batley, representing the "No" vote, and jockey Rachael Grant, representing the "Yes" vote, prepare to take part in a "Referendum Race" sponsored by the bookmakers Ladbrokes at Musselburgh racecourse in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 15, 2014. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
30
A "Yes" campaign supporter displays her necklace as Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond campaigns in Edinburgh, Scotland, on September 10, 2014. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
31
"No" voter Ken Brown, a retired chemical plant manager, poses with a Union flag on the beach at Troon, Ayrshire, on September 15, 2014. Brown said, "I think that as a country we are much better together. Scotland is quite socialist by nature and that will have to be paid through higher taxation." (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
32
Campaigners wave Scottish Saltires at a "Yes" campaign rally in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 17, 2014, one day ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez) #

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