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Slow start for primary voters in Main Line

The morning hours since voting commenced has found voters scarce or slow to get to their polls in areas of Lower Merion and Haverford townships.

To show her vehement disapproval of Pennsylvania's new voter identification law, 87-year-old Lorna Carroll purposely left both of her proper voter IDs in apartment at Wynnewood's Green Hills Apartments before casting her ballot.

"I wanted to protest this voter ID law, which I think is incredibly unfair," Carroll, a Democratic committeewoman for Green Hills, said. "It's unfair to many groups, especially to people are not mobile and who don't have a lot of opportunities to go through the headache to get proper ID."

Carroll isn't the only Green Hills resident who opposes the new law, which has its dry run today, but she seems to be part of a rarity, a fraction of the complex's residence to cast her vote since the polls opened at 7 a.m., a pattern visible at other nearby polling locations, including Lower Merion's Penn Valley Elementary School and the Annunciation Church in Havertown.

As of 10 a.m., only 30 of the more than 1,000 residents in Green Hill's voting Precinct 1 went to the polls.

At Annunciation Church, former Haverford Township Democratic committeewoman Erin Dolinger said the April 24 primary has been slower than normal. Only 45 voters had arrived at the polling location in Havertown by 10:30 a.m.

Before 9 a.m., Democrats of Lower Merion and Narberth volunteer and committeeman Jeff Rudnick said the Penn Valley Elementary poll felt more deserted than usual, with barely two-dozen residents strolling through the doors to vote. Rudnick had been at the polling place since 6:45 a.m.

"We've barely had anybody…I think part of it is that it may not have been publicized enough, but I also think a lot of people don't understand the importance of the primary, especially for the attorney general and [U.S.] senate races," Rudnick said.

Green Hills resident Charlotte Getter said that after she voted, she ran into a handful of friends and neighbors who had no idea there was an election today.

While Getter pointed to a lack of publicizing for the primary, voters like Green Hill resident Martin Rosen believe the new voter ID to be the low morning turnout culprit.

"Even if it isn't, it's still depriving people who may not have the opportunity to get necessary ID their right to vote," Rosen, 84, said. "These people might not have the resources to get from the hospital or nursing homes to the offices for IDs. I don't like it."

Residents in favor of the voter ID law thought it was necessary for fair voting procedures.

"We use IDs for everything else, why not for voting?" asked Howard McCue, 82, of Haverford Township. "In cases of fraud, this law is good for that reason."

The new voter ID law aside, Main Line voters other than Barry Cooperman weren't motivated one way or another by candidates in today's race.

"I came out for Patrick Murphy," Cooperman, a 70-year-old Penn Valley resident, said. "I met him once, and I think very highly of him as a politician. I felt bad for him when he lost his congressional seat."

Green Hill's Carroll felt similarly, but said her primary concern on primary day was the voter ID law.

"It's horrific, and it's going to eliminate the legitimate votes of many people, especially the elderly and poor," Carroll said.