SIMFEROPOL, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Autonomous Republic of Crimea information minister on Sunday said that the ongoing referendum had seen early high turnout from local residents.
Dmitry Polonsky told local press that Crimean residents tend to participate in ballots actively.
"A high turnout at polling stations is traditional for Crimea," said the official. "This has always happened, and moreover, this happens today at such an epoch-making moment for Crimea."
Voters were seen braving rains and queuing outside polling stations which were opened at 08:00 local time (0200 GMT).
Another local official, chairman of the ARC preparing and holding the All-Crimean Referendum commission Mikhail Malyshev said voters had been arriving "massively" at polling stations since early morning. "This situation had not been observed since Soviet times."
The chairman also told reporters that all 1,205 polling stations had been opened and had been working in routine mode.
But the official admitted to some hitches like telephone communications and electricity cut-off for a couple of polling stations.
The referendum commission had in place diesel generators to guarantee the process of polling on Sunday.
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