While Americans exercise their right to vote today, South Africans are quietly commemorating a step toward their own democratic existence.
On November 6, 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning South Africa's racist apartheid policies, calling for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation. Nelson Mandela, head of the African National Congress, was jailed the following year.
It would take another thirty two years before South Africa arrived at a wholly democratic state when a multiracial, multiparty transitional government was approved in 1993 and the country held its first democratic elections in 1994, appointing Nelson Mandela as President.
Check out a selection of images from the exhibition "Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life" on view at the International Center of Photography in New York City through January 6, 2013.