BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Voters can begin casting ballots in the state’s primary election at early voting locations across the state Saturday.

It’s the first time early voting has been available for a state primary in Massachusetts. Early voting will continue through August 28.

Saturday is also the last day to register to vote in the primary.

Voters can find early voting locations and ballot drop boxes in their communities by going to the secretary of the commonwealth’s website.

More than 700 of small post office rallies took place across the country, including in front of the Statehouse in Boston. (WBZ-TV)

Congressman Joe Kennedy cast his ballot in Newton. He’s is in a closely watched race against incumbent and fellow Democrat Senator Ed Markey. After voting, Kennedy talked about President Donald Trump’s efforts to suppress voter turnout.

“We’ve come into unexpected challenges with the actions of the president who put up roadblocks that are unneeded and to undermine the confidence of our voting system. So to have this additional week of voting in person and going into election day is critical,” Kennedy said.

At a mail-in rally in Newton, Sen. Ed Markey also blasted Trump for causing voter confusion.

“Donald Trump has declared war on the postal service,” Markey said. “This is about voter suppression and another tool he is using to discourage people from voting.”

At a mail-in rally at the Statehouse, voters came together to show their support for the postal service by mailing in petition letters to the board of governors for the post office.

More than 700 of these small post office rallies took place across the country. The Boston rally limited itself only 30 people for social distancing. With early voting underway, rally attendees said now is the time to raise their voices and – in their own words – save the post office.”

“Who thought we would ever be this dependent on the post office to cast our votes with mail-in ballots?” said one person at the rally.

Early voting will continue through Friday, August 28. The primary is on September 1.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin is also encouraging voters to hand-deliver their mail-in ballots if they can instead of dropping them in the mail. Galvin, a Democrat, said that’s the best way to guarantee that a ballot will be counted.

Ballots can be dropped off at early voting locations.

Ballots must reach each voter’s local election office by 8 p.m. on Sept. 1 in order to be counted. It’s not good enough just to have the ballot postmarked by that date.

Voters who submitted applications to vote by mail don’t have to wait for their ballots to arrive in order to vote. If they haven’t mailed back their ballot, they can still vote in person during the early voting period or on Sept. 1, Galvin said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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