BOSTON (WHDH) - Early voting in Massachusetts started Saturday as voters headed to the polls to cast ballots.

Massachusetts residents have until Friday, September 2 to submit early voting ballots for the state primary before election day on September 6.

“Given work and different professional commitments, the weekend is a much easier time to accomplish this,” said Sam Mencher, who took advantage of early voting.

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said that early voting, which Massachusetts started in 2016, has been very popular.

“[It’s been] very effective to help people who can’t have their personal hours coincide with election hours,” Galvin said.

Weekend voting hours were made mandatory this year, with at least one session required in every community across the state.

Galvin said the state has had over 670,000 requests for vote by mail ballots. Applications for mail-in ballots are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 29.

Boston is again offering dedicated ballot drop boxes around the city for those who would like to deliver mail-in ballots in person.

Galvin said that he expects a larger turnout in November with the gubernatorial election and ballot questions.

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