BOSTON (CBS) – The response to early voting in Massachusetts has been "great," according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and he hopes 500,000 people will have cast their ballots before Election Day.
"As of (Friday) more than seven-percent of the entire electorate had voted and that's since Monday," Bill Galvin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Saturday.
"We had over 325,000 people already cast ballots," he said. "I'm very confident we'll certainly reach a half-a-million by the time it ends next Friday."
Galvin said 284 cities and towns had early voting hours Saturday, while 27 of those communities will also be open Sunday.
There were long lines outside several locations Saturday, including the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street.
"We've had issues where some communities have chosen not to open on the weekend even though we offer them financial support to do so and that's unfortunate," he told WBZ.
This is the first time Massachusetts has had voting on a weekend. Galvin believes it will help make things smoother on Election Day, November 8.
"In the last two presidential elections we've had over three million people cast ballots, which when you're trying to get over three million people to do something in a 13-hour period it inevitably leads to some degree of clutter and lines and hopefully this will reduce it," he said.
So when do the advanced votes get tallied?
"At the end. Nothing is counted before the polls close on November 8th," Galvin said.
Early voting is definitely for people who have made up their minds and are not still undecided on candidates and ballot questions.
"Once you've voted early, you're done," Galvin told WBZ.
"There's no such thing as coming back and saying, 'Gee, I've heard another argument, I'd like to reconsider. I want to cast another ballot instead. You can't do that. Once you voted, you voted."
The early voting period runs until November 4. You can find your early voting location online through the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports
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