LOCK HAVEN - "Very slow."
Those were the words spoken over and over again from officials throughout Clinton County during Tuesday's Primary Election.
And those reactions proved to be correct, as only 19 percent of the county's 20,388 registered voters, or 3,898 people turned out to the polls yesterday.
Lamar Township election worker Victoria Blier checks the IDs of Jerry and Beverly Barzona.
This is an off-year for local races, and there are scant few state races for voters to get excited about.
Mitt Romney has had no serious opposition for the GOP presidential nomination since former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dropped out two weeks ago.
President Barack Obama is unopposed for the Democratic nod.
The ballot did have contests for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general and the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey's re-election bid, but that didn't seem to move many voters during a cold and blustery day around Central Pennsylvania.
Tuesday's Primary Election, however, was the first practice round of the new state voter ID law, which requires voters to produce a photo identification card before voting.
While voters were not required to show their ID on Tuesday - they will be required in November - nearly all had their photo ID handy when asked, and did not have a problem with the new law hindering people from voting.
"We had no problem at all," said Beverly Barzona after leaving the voting booth in Lamar Township with her husband, Jerry.
"We both have our drivers licenses. We're 72, but some older people are not allowed to drive," Jerry said. "Anymore, you need some kind of identification cards for most anything. The only thing I can see a problem with is with people not having a driver's license.
"If that discourages you from voting, then maybe voting to them isn't very important," he said.
However, Barzona noted that, in Lamar Township and several other rural townships in the county, there are many Amish people for whom it is against their religion to have their faces shown on pictures, like photo identification cards.
Township Judge of Elections Kathy Ebeling said through mid-morning on Tuesday, voting was "very light," with only 83 of the 1,400 registered voters in the township casting their ballots to that point.
"It's as light as it's been since I've been here," said Ebeling, judge of elections since being appointed in November of 2009. "Almost all the people had their IDs. There was only one person who forgot."
"There was no one here at 7 this morning. That's the first time I've seen that," said official Victoria Blier.
However, Ebeling added, those who forget their IDs in November will have to fill out provisional ballots, which may be "cumbersome."
Concerning Amish voters, Ebeling said her township has had them "on occasion" in the past several years. They will have to fill out a questionaire to be able to vote in November without producing a photo ID, she said.
"It will be cumbersome and it will be difficult for them," Ebeling said. "They have every right to do so (vote), but it's a new process and it may be difficult for them.
In Mill Hall, that precinct saw 68 voters by late morning, whereas it normally receives around 100 by that time, said official Carol Probst.
Mill Hall Judge of Elections Dean Wetzler said his precinct had only one person to that time have a problem with the new voter ID process.
"I had one guy in here earlier who was speaking his mind and was upset with the whole process and said he was going to move to another county," Wetzler said. "I hope he understands this is the same for every county in the state."
"Nearly everyone was very receptive to it and they all had their license," Probst added.
Wetzler thanked the media for informing the public about yesterday's practice round with voter IDs.
"It made it very easy," he said. "Some said they didn't know they needed it, but it was just practice for November."
Voter Sandy Shaffer said he "had no problem at all" with the new process.
"It's not that big of a deal," he said.
Steve Eoute said he doesn't believe the new ID requirements will be a hinderance at all to voters.
"You need one to open up a checking account or rent a movie ... not sure why having an ID to vote should be that important," he said after casting his ballot.
In Lock Haven's 4th Ward, only 62 of the 1,377 registered voters had cast their ballots at Citizens Hose Fire Co. by lunchtime.
Judge of Elections Alan Black said there were only a couple of people in that precinct who had a problem with the new ID requirements.
"They complained and said they didn't bring their IDs and they won't bring it next time either," he said. "Another one said he didn't think it was right that veterans have to show their IDs."
"It's been more positive than negative," said official Bill Bovier.
Lock Haven's 2nd Ward had an even lighter turnout, with only 16 of the approximately 300 voters showing up just before lunchtime at the Hope Hose Fire Co.
"They were very familiar with the IDs. A lot of them gave them to us before we even asked," said official Joanne Furl.
DuWayne Kunes said after voting he didn't think the new requirements should be that much of a problem.
"It didn't bother me at all. It didn't hinder the process any," he said.
"Not one person came in so far who didn't have their ID," said Judge of Elections Jane Whitman.
"People need IDs for just about anything else," said county Republican Party Chairman Kurt Smith, who was working polls, mostly alone, outside the Dunnstown Fire Hall on Tuesday.
"I think there is a low voter turnout because of Rick Santorum dropping out, and President Obama having no opposition, and both GT (U.S. Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson, R-Howard) and (state Rep.) Mike Hanna (D-Lock Haven) not having any opposition," he said. "For a lot of races, there is only one person to vote for. I'm not sure if that can get out the citizens, lousy day or not."
Dan and Rose Reeder said they had no problems with the "practice round" for the new voter ID law, but they both don't believe it should be needed.
"It should not be necessary. There has been no evidence of any voter fraud," Dan said. "It may be a hinderance for people to vote, and it will probably discourage some people from voting."
"It is a hardship for some people," Rose added.
Woodward Township voting official Vickie Shoemaker said that precinct only had one person arrive at the polls there and refused to show their ID "in protest" of the new law.
Judge of Elections Cindy Love said only 136 of the 1,616 registered voters had cast their ballots as of lunchtime.
"This is the lightest I've seen it since I've been here (in the eight years)," she said.
Commissioner Chairman Pete Smeltz noted the voter disinterest because the public is normally aroused by "hotly-contested races."
"I expect a much larger turnout in November," he said.
Fellow Republican Jeff Snyder thanked the "great people in Clinton County who make sure election days work as they're supposed to."
"I feel really good about it (election)," he said.
Democratic Commissioner Joel Long agreed, saying he believes the election went well overall.
However, he said he believes the new voter ID law is "unnecessary."
"Workers always had the right to ask for ID," Long said. "They didn't need to make it a law and cost more money."
In the statewide contested contests, Sam Rorher won for the Republican nod for U.S. Senator in Clinton County with 48.87 percent of the votes. He was followed by Tom Smith with 28.64 percent, Steven Welch with 12.06 percent, David Christian with 6.65 percent and Marc Scaringi with 3.7 percent.
For auditor general on the Republican said, John Mayer had 63.83 percent while Frank Pinto had 36.02 percent.
Jacob Corman III, Joyce Haas and Tom Martin were the top three of six for a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
For the Democrats, Kathleen Kane easily outdistanced Patrick Murphy in Clinton County for attorney general, 1,046-473.
Also, Bob Casey Jr. had 85.1 percent of the votes to 14.7 percent for Joseph Vodvarka.
State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven, had all but 12 of the votes for 76th State House seat, and John Wozniak, D-Johnstown, had all but four votes for state senator.