Egyptians Take to Polls to Vote on New Constitution

"I want stability and I want the country to improve for everyone," Mohammad Fati said. "The constitution is good for people like me, who work every day."

Increasingly, Egypt seems divided in two: on one side are mostly secular, mostly liberal protestors who see themselves as the true Egypt; on the other are mostly religious Egyptians who believe they outnumber their political opponents -- they did win the election, after all.

Often, the split falls on religious, cultural, even class lines -- what one Western official here called "Red state, blue state Egypt."

Ask most of the protestors about Morsi, and they accuse him of trying to recreate Iran or Afghanistan and describe his supporters as ignorant. Ask some Muslim Brotherhood members about the opposition, and they describe protestors as latte-sipping English speakers who failed to support the revolution in the first place and now fail to respect a democratically elected president.

Regardless of the outcome, observers fear the protests and violence will help widen a divide that will outlive the current crisis.

"It's inevitable that the two sides will argue. Will it be violent?" asked the Western official. "It's a naturally cohesive country. But there are some signs that that cohesion is weakening."

More than 120,000 soldiers, who have been given the power to arrest, are keeping a close eye on stations that will stay open for 15 hours -- extended by three hours because of high turnout. But in the polling stations visited by ABC News, soldiers did not act like police at all, instead standing passive guard at the entrances and only moving to break up a crowd during a verbal altercation.

More than half of Egypt's 26 million eligible voters are expected to cast ballots today, with the balance voting next Saturday. It's the fourth vote since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian regime, but comes at an especially fragile economic moment.

Foreign-exchange reserves have dropped significantly and the Egyptian pound has devalued at least 12 percent since 2009. Morsi delayed a much-needed $4.8 billion loan this week after Egyptians reacted to IMF-mandated taxes with fury.

The government and its supporters paint the constitution as a chance to increase investment and stabilize the economy.

"We didn't really mind that much what the content was, as much as we wanted to have the highest element of compromise and consensus within the constitution itself, and have it as swiftly as possible," Gehad El-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told ABC News. "Having a constitution allows us to have a parliament. Having both allows us to end Egypt's transition. Ending Egypt's transition allows us to address the economy, which is the big deal at the end of the day."

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