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Election Turnout High Early in Plymouth-Whitemarsh Area

Poll workers say turnout could surpass 2008.

From the Whitemarsh polling station just west of the Philadelphia border, to those in south Conshohocken and Plymouth Meeting, there was one common theme Tuesday morning: turnout is high.

Poll workers across the Plymouth-Whitemarsh area told Patch that turnout so far is greatly surpassing previous elections, with some even saying that it seems busier than in 2008.

"We've been crazy here," said Joanne Frost, wife of Conshohocken Mayor Robert Frost, inside the ward 6 polling station at the borough's municipal building. "Out of the twelve years I've been here, this is the busiest I can remember. When I got here at 6:30 a.m. there were people waiting in their cars."

Frost said that by 10:45 a.m., 239 out of about 800 registered voters had already cast their ballots. Also at the polling station was Mike Ludwig, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania's 148th Legislative District.

"It looks like there's a good turnout, which is great," said Ludwig, adding that he thinks a higher turnout increases his chances of winning against Democratic opponent Mary Jo Daley. "I have a good feeling that the more people that come out to vote the better."

Turnout was perhaps highest in Whitemarsh's West-3 district, as voters streamed into the Masonic Village at 800 Ridge Pike.

"We had a busy start. I got here at twenty-to-six and there were already people here," said one poll worker, adding that 425 of the district's 1,450 voters had cast their ballot by 10:30 a.m. "By the time the polls opened, we had a crowd of 100 people."

At the Spring Mill Fire Company in Whitemarsh's Conshohocken section, a poll worker said that 280 people from the West-1 district had voted Tuesday morning, already surpassing the numbers for last spring's primary election.

It was a similar story in Plymouth Township's 4-2 district, headquartered at the Plymouth Fire Company on Colwell Lane, where 446 people voted Tuesday morning, again surpassing the primary election.

Plymouth Councilman Sheldon Simpson, who was volunteering outside Plymouth Community Ambulance in his home 2-1 district, said the turnout was high there as well.

"It's been unbelievable, I think we'll do about 50 percent," said Simpson. "We had a line of 25 people at quarter-to-seven."

Inside, Simpson's son Steven, acting as election judge, said that 336 of about 1,400 registered voters had turned out as of 11 a.m.

"That's a big turnout, better so far than in '08," the younger Simpson said.

He added that there was some confusion from voters over Pennsylvania's already existing voter ID laws, which state that a person must show identification if it's their first time voting in a district.

"If you're newly registered, you have to show ID, which has been the law for a long time," Simpson said. "But there's been some confusion, with people thinking they don't have to show it."

Several volunteers at other polling locations said they had similar incidents occur, but that otherwise things were running smoothly.

Check back with Patch as we continue to cover the election throughout the day.

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