Redrawn Pa. congressional map in play during today's primary

Written by Emily Previti/Keystone Crossroads | May 15, 2018 5:28 AM

FILE - Voters fill out their ballots. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File)

(Elizabethtown) -- Pennsylvania voters are heading to the polls today for the first election under a new congressional map.

The polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.

The new map is expected to yield both more competitive elections and possibly greater voter confusion.

Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that the old map was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and then the justices didn't release a new one until primary campaigns were about to ramp up.

The compressed election schedule meant fundraising and other logistical complications for candidates. who face the most crowded primary fields in decades.

Some quit because districts had changed so drastically, while others continued on in districts where they don't actually live.

So, how will all this affect voters?

Kyle Kopko is a political science professor at Elizabethtown College.

"Turnout is the big question," he said. "I think a lot of people are trying to determine whether Democrats are really mobilized, and whether folks are really confused about district maps."

Kopko says in any given election, some polling sites change, so there is some amount of confusion.

"But now we also have new district lines where new counties or parts of counties are in or out of new districts," he added. "We are all just kind of waiting and seeing how this will all turn out."

Results will set the stage for a general election in November.

Pennsylvania is seen as a key battleground state in determining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Democrats are expected to gain a seat or two under the new map, with another couple districts becoming significantly more competitive.

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