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Carter Center Slideshow: Elections Mark Turning Point in Liberia's History

  • The Carter Center observed Liberia’s historic presidential and legislative elections on Oct. 11, 2005. Only two years earlier, Liberia had emerged from 14 years of civil warfare, which had left over a million people displaced and the country’s infrastructure destroyed. Liberians across the country were eager to participate in the 2005 elections and leave the painful past behind them. More than 1.3 million people registered to vote, which was estimated to be 90 percent of the eligible population. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes | Carter Center Slideshow (2005)

  • Liberians march down the streets in support of their favorite election candidates. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people peacefully gathered in the week before elections. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • Ellen Johnson–Sirleaf was a frontrunner candidate. She was eventually elected president after a run–off election between her and second place finisher George Weah. Johnson–Sirleaf became the first female elected head–of–state in Africa. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • Hundreds of thousands of displaced Liberians lived in camps like this throughout the country, even three years after fighting stopped. The shelters were built to last three to four months. Pictured is Conneh IDP Camp in Kakata, Liberia, which has more than 12,000 residents. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • Civic organizations came to many camps to conduct voter education for the upcoming elections. Posters showed sample ballots and basic information about how to vote. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • A young resident of Conneh IDP camp. Most children in the camps were unable to afford the cost of attending school. Those that did attend often had to sell their food rations to pay for it. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • Liberia’s infrastructure was destroyed during years of civil warfare. The citizens must get their water from a cart such as the one pictured here, being pushed down a Monrovia street. All Photos:The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • A large U.N. presence of 15,000 troops kept the peace following the 2003 comprehensive peace agreement. Here a tank is stuck in traffic like everyone else behind an election rally for George Weah. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • On the morning of election day, poll station staff show observers that the ballot boxes are empty and then seal them in preparation for voting to begin. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • There were long lines at polling stations throughout most of election day. Women brought chairs and sold fruit to the masses. Many people had begun forming the lines the night before because they were so eager to vote. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • A girl sells water to people waiting in line. Election day was very hot and humid, and many people waited hours to vote. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • An elections official checks a woman’s identification card prior to voting. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • President Carter watches as a poll worker prepares ballots for the next vote. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • A poll worker explains to a voter how to properly mark his vote on each ballot; one for the president and one for the parliament. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • A poll worker cuts out a ballot from his book to give the next voter. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • A woman is next in line to vote in the middle of election day. Outside, the line is still very long. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

  • Because there is no electricity in Liberia, ballots in Monrovia are counted by the light of an electric lantern issued to each polling site. President Carter watches the process unfold. All Photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes