PHOTOS: In Georgia, voters head to the polls after contentious governor campaign

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People line up in a voting queue. Above them is a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr.

Voters queue at polling station 031 in downtown Atlanta before the polls open Tuesday morning. The station is located in the Center for Civil and Human Rights, a fitting site for casting votes and witnessing democracy in action. It rained overnight in Atlanta, but the inclement weather didn’t stop these lines from forming in the early morning hours.

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Steven Davy/The World

The world is watching as Georgia goes to the polls today.

After a contentious campaign between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Georgia Secretary of State Republican Brian Kemp, international vote observers are in Atlanta to watch polling stations. Georgians lined up to vote before polls opened at 7 a.m. 

Georgia is also at a crossroads: voters could elect the first black female governor in American history. At the same time, as Secretary of State, Kemp's office oversees elections and he's refused to step aside. He's also faced accusations of voter suppression, allegations he calls "a farce."

Related: Georgia at a crossroads: 'A black woman as governor in a southern state? That speaks powers.'

A line of people wraps around a brick building. Most people stand in line, looking at cell phones.

Liberty Baptist Church is down the street from the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father were pastors. People there said they waited about 30 minutes in a line that wrapped around the building.

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Steven Davy/The World

A red sign says "Vote here." In the background, a line of voters extends out the glass doors of a building.

A red sign points the way to a polling place located along Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, a main road in Atlanta named after the former two-term mayor who served during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

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Steven Davy/The World

Voters queue in the early morning light outside a building with a quote from Nelson Mandela etched into a concrete wall.

A monument with a quote from Nelson Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and former president, stands outside downtown Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. The center is also home to polling station 031, where voters lined up before 7 a.m. to cast ballots. The quote reads: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

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Steven Davy/The World

Two women pose for a photo wearing matching T-shirts which read, "Election protection." Behind them, people queue to vote.

International monitors from Denmark and Germany were invited to observe the election here in Atlanta. But they were not alone. Aklima Khondoker, left, and a colleague from the ACLU of Georgia and the Election Protection project that was also on site to keep an eye on the vote. “We were looking for any indication of voter suppression or intimidation. We were looking to see if any voters were turned away,” Khondoker said, adding that they did not see any issues at this polling location.

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Steven Davy/The World

A woman and a man pose for a photo and display their "I voted" stickers.

Valerie and Jeffrey Banks pose for a photo after casting their votes. “I feel great,” he said. It took them about an hour to wait in line and vote at this station.

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Steven Davy/The World

Two men stand outside a government building.

International inspectors Pascal Kober, left, from Germany, and Søren Søndergaard, right, from Denmark, were invited to observe the elections in Georgia. The two arrived at this polling site before it opened at 7 a.m. and spent two hours observing the voting process.

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A man inspects a map of Georgia's voting districts.

International election monitor Søren Søndergaard studies the Fulton County precinct map, which includes metro Atlanta. On the night before the election, Søndergaard met with Richard Barron, the Fulton County elections director.

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Steven Davy/The World

a man in a jackets and slacks get's his photo taken in front of the Georgia state capitol building

International election monitor Søren Søndergaard from Denmark, left, takes a photo for Pascal Kober from Germany in front of the Georgia state capitol building after meetings with state election officials.

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Steven Davy/The World

Three men walk through a parking lot. Behind them is a line of people waiting to vote at a church.

International election monitors Søren Søndergaard, left, from Denmark, and Pascal Kober, middle, from Germany, walk back to their car after spending time at Liberty Baptist Church polling location. The monitors look for evidence of tampering with the votes but also spent their time listening, asking questions, learning about the local election process and recording details for a report they file after the election.

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Steven Davy/The World

A group of people hold "Charlie Bailey for Attorney General" signs along the side of a road. The Atlanta skyline is behind them.

Attorney general candidate Charlie Bailey, right, stands with other supporters at a busy intersection waving to passing cars. Behind them is the Atlanta skyline.

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Steven Davy/The World

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