Egypt entered a second day of parliamentary voting after crowds gathered to cast ballots in the country’s first election after the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Lines at polling stations in Cairo were shorter today, after voters rushed to take part yesterday, forcing the election commission to extend voting hours. Preliminary results may be announced tomorrow. The head of the commission, Abdel Moez Ibrahim, said the number of people casting ballots had been “beyond expectations.”

“The turnout is very high,” said Ghada Shahbender, 49, a member of the Board of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, part of an alliance of civil society groups that sent out thousands of monitors. “People believe they can make a difference. They feel empowered. They’re out voting because they feel that their votes count.”

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