Counting starts after Zimbabweans vote in pivotal election

Former Zimbabwean Leader President Robert Mugabe casts his vote at a polling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, July 30, 2018. Zimbabweans are voting in their first election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot, and with some 5.5 million people registered to vote. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Voters queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday July 30, 2018 . Polls have closed in Zimbabwe’s historic election, the first since the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe. Millions have voted, turnout was high and the day was free of the violence that marked previous elections. (AP Photo)

Zimbabweans queue as they wait to vote at the Sherwood Primary School in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, Monday July 30, 2018. The vote will be a first for the southern African nation following a military takeover and the ousting of former longterm leader Robert Mugabe. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

HARARE, Zimbabwe — With hope and pride, millions of Zimbabweans voted peacefully Monday in an election that many believe is their best chance to escape the toxic politics and dead-end economics of the era of Robert Mugabe, who wasn’t on the ballot for the first time in the nation’s nearly four-decade history.