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Voters Cast Ballots On State's First Ever Day Of Early Voting02:04
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Voters make their choices on the first day of early voting Monday at Boston City Hall. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Voters make their choices on the first day of early voting Monday at Boston City Hall. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
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Monday was the state's first ever day of early voting, and it appears there's an interest in fulfilling the civic duty before Election Day.

Around two dozen people waited in line at the Cambridge Election Commission to cast their early votes shortly after the polling place opened at 8:30 in the morning.

Among those there was Mike Sheldon. He says early voting is a way for him to move on from this election season.

Cambridge voters wait in line on Inman Street to cast their ballots early on Monday, the first day of early voting in the state. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Cambridge voters wait in line on Inman Street to cast their ballots early on Monday, the first day of early voting in the state. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

"I think a lot of people just want to get it over with and just vote as early as possible and be done with it," Sheldon said. "So that's why I'm here on the first day."

At Boston City Hall, the line to vote snaked up and down sets of stairs. Volunteers pointed those who may have trouble standing to a nearby seating area.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh stands in line for the first day of early voting at City Hall. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh stands in line for the first day of early voting at City Hall. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined the line during the lunch rush. He says he wasn't expecting the 30 minute wait.

"It just shows you there's real interest in politics and real interest in voting, and a lot of people can't make it on Election Day to vote and they get a chance now in Massachusetts to early vote," Walsh said.

At Boston City Hall, the line to vote on the first day of early voting snaked up and down the lobby stairs. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
At Boston City Hall, the line to vote on the first day of early voting snaked up and down the lobby stairs. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

As of Monday afternoon, more than 700 people had voted at City Hall, according to Boston Election Commissioner Dion Irish. Irish says he tapped some of his own staff to help move the lines along.

Despite the wait, Dexter White, of Mattapan, says voting at City Hall was much easier than waiting for Election Day. He says he doesn't plan on changing his mind between now and Nov. 8.

"I don't have no problem with that. I'm not worried about anything. I got all my votes in accurate. I'm happy with the way I voted and just looking for some good results," White said.

For Ann Carbone, another Boston voter, the hope is that early voting will result in higher voter participation.

"So many people really can’t make it on that one day, so by giving people more of an opportunity, whether you’re elderly, have children, you work, it doesn’t give us the opportunity," Carbone said. "By doing this, it gives everybody more of a chance."

Eligible voters in Massachusetts have the chance to vote early through Nov. 4.

10/25 Update: The total tally from Day 1 of early voting in Boston: 1,818 votes cast at City Hall, and 4,289 citywide. 

This segment aired on October 24, 2016.

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Shannon Dooling Twitter Reporter
Shannon Dooling is an immigration reporter at WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

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