Update as of 2:30 a.m. EDT: Polls have now opened in the Scottish independence referendum. They opened at 7:00 a.m local time (2:00 a.m. EDT) and will remain open until 10:00 p.m. local time (5:00 p.m. EDT). Voters will be giving their views on a single question: "Should Scotland become an independent country?"
Original story below
Scots on both sides of the referendum question hustled on Wednesday on the eve of a historic vote that has divided the country and could break a 307-year union with Great Britain. They handed out leaflets, hung posters and checked arrangements to get their backers to the polls. "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Other citizens of what is still the United Kingdom have strong feelings on the subject as well, but only Scottish voters will decide.
The turnout on Thursday is expected to be unprecedented, with 97 percent of Scots registered to vote -- some 4.2 million people. The no campaign has a slight lead with 52 percent of citizens not wanting to leave the union, the Guardian wrote, but there are still an estimated 350,000 undecided voters.
Leaders of the No and Yes movements spent the last hours trying to lure the undecideds. Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond warned his countrymen not to squander the “opportunity of a lifetime.”
“We meet not to celebrate, not to presume, not to pre-empt,” Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, said, according to the Daily Mail. “We are the underdogs in this campaign, as we always have been.
“The Westminster establishment will fling the kitchen sink and half the living room and probably most of the bedroom at us before the close of polls at 10pm tomorrow night.
“This is our opportunity of a lifetime and we must seize it with both hands.”
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron joked that being assassinated would be a “welcome release” from the pressure to keep Scotland in the U.K., the Daily Mail wrote. If the “Yes” vote wins, Cameron does not plan on resigning -- although his colleagues may have something to say about that.
Cameron didn't make a last-minute campaign trip to Scotland; he's so disliked there, it likely would have hurt the "Better Together" side's chances. He acknowledged his unpopularity but still made the case for Scotland staying in the union. “If you don’t like me -- I won’t be here forever," he said. "If you don’t like this government -- it won’t last forever. But if you leave the U.K. -- that will be forever.”
The voting will take place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time. The announcement of the results is expected Friday morning at 8 a.m., London time.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella