Voter ID Law Causes Low Voter Turnout In Primary Election

MT. LEBANNON (KDKA) — Today is primary election day in Pennsylvania.

Voters in the two parties are picking candidates for President, Congress, and the state General Assembly, but perhaps as many as 75 percent of registered voters will not vote today.

It’s almost as if we had an election and nobody showed up to vote. At times, it seemed like that this primary election day.

“It’s been extremely slow. I’ve never had it this slow before,” Louise Pallone, a judge of elections at a Brookline polling place, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.

Pallone says only the truly committed are voting, like 78-year old Mike Acquaro.

“I had two new knees and just had bypass on my left leg,” said Acquaro, walking slowly.

He wasn’t alone.

“We think it’s important that we always exercise our right to vote,” said Louis Santora, who has never missed an election.

These are the super-voters — people who never miss an election — but even some of them stayed home, and negative advertising may be a cause.

“People are so sick and tired of the ads on television. I am, also,” said Kitty Fusaro of Brookline.
“It’s really tough. A group of girls I have coffee with said, ‘I don’t even feel like voting. I’m so sick and tired of it.’”

Pallone, a veteran of many elections, worries the state’s new voter ID law may be affecting the turnout, too.

“I also think it has something to do with the photo ID,” Pallone said. “People aren’t sure what they are supposed to do when they arrive.”

Even though it’s not required until November, poll workers were asking voters for ID, and many of the elderly who don’t drive may lack such identification.

“Especially the elderly who have been voting for years,” says Fusaro. “When you go to the polls, everybody recognizes you anyhow, so I don’t see that it’s really necessary.”

While nobody expects any problems with this test run of the voter ID law, that’s not the case in November when many more people will vote and some voters may be turned away because they don’t have proper identification.

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