Egyptians weathered a unexpected rainstorm and lines sometimes eight hours long to cast their vote in the first parliamentary elections since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
The vote is being hailed as the fairest and most well-attended in country's recent history, marking a peaceful end to five days of rioting and violent protests against the ruling military council last week, at least temporarily. On Monday there were still protestors in Tahrir Square, who wanted to the elections to be postponed.
Building a new government from scratch isn't an easy or clean process, and indeed Monday's elections have been slow and messy for Egyptians at times.
It's chaotic and confusing but it does seem to be working, said The Guardian's Martin Chulov from Cairo.
All the people that we spoke to in Tahrir Square... were very worried about this elections. They thought it could be sabotaged, they thought it was being set up to fail, people wouldn't embrace it, that there was a liberal minority who were hemmed in on both sides. However all sides have turned out across town today. Most neighborhoods in almost all communities are exercising their right to vote, which has to be a good thing at this stage.
Many Egyptians have taken to Twitter to monitor the elections, using the social media network as a proactive tool for fighting voter fraud. Activists are distributing the numbers to regulatory hotlines, while others used it to report on suspected fraud and inconsistencies.
For example, there have been reports of Muslim Brotherhood members handing out flyers outside of polling stations, which is in violation of a ban on campaigning. There have also been isolated reports of vote-buying and selling, although it is so far significantly less prevalent than in previous elections.
I never voted because I was never sure it was for real. This time, I hope it is, but I am not positive. The most important thing is to have a liberal and a civilized country, I mean no fanatics, a voter named Shahira Ahmed told MSNBC.
About 17 million Egyptians will be eligible to vote on Monday and Tuesday, the first of three two-day long voting periods in the lower house elections.
With people lined up for hours, it has been a slow process. According to The Guardian, some polling stations are averaging one ballot cast every 10 minutes, as voters slosh through the 73-person polling card. Other polling stations were opened late, delayed by judges who were slow to arrive at their posts.