(KCEN) -- Counting begins in the first round of voting in Egypt's controversial Constitutional Referendum.
High voter turnout prompted polling stations to stay open longer than planned.
Opponents believe it will restrict civil liberties and the rights of minorities and women.
However Egypt's president says the move is a necessary step toward democracy.
"We are talking about a country that has been in place for over 210 years as a modern state, and I cannot really believe that this is what's going on with the constitution with that quality in the year 2012, basically," says voter Mohamed Ewais.
To pass the constitution has to be approved by more than 50 percent of voters.
Official results won't be announced until after a second round of voting next Saturday.