NOUMEA, New Caledonia | High turnout as Pacific archipelago votes on independence

NOUMEA, New Caledonia | High turnout as Pacific archipelago votes on independence

NOUMEA, New Caledonia  — Voters turned out in exceptional numbers Sunday to decide whether the French South Pacific territory of New Caledonia should break free from the European country that claimed it in the mid-19th century.

The territory’s High Commissioner estimated that close to three-quarters of the territory’s registered voters had cast ballots an hour before polls closed Sunday evening, a far more robust turnout than in New Caledonia’s provincial election in 2014.

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