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Crimea counts votes in referendum that divides Russia, U.S.
Perevalnoye, Ukraine (CNN) -- Ballots were being counted, and the first numbers from the referendum on whether Ukraine's Crimea region should join Russia or become an independent state were expected in a matter of hours after polls closed Sunday night, an election official said. Crimean Electoral Commission head Mikhail Malyshev said more than 80% of voters had cast ballots by the time polls closed at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET). Preliminary results will be announced at 10:30 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m ET) Sunday.