Two of North Middleton Township’s three voting precincts are split between the newly drawn 10th and 13th U.S. Congressional Districts, although the county’s elections bureau says this should not cause a problem come the May 15 primary vote.
While voting precincts are typically aligned to encompass a singular set of constituents, the recent re-draw of Pennsylvania’s congressional maps by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court splits North Middleton’s first and third precincts between two seats.
Only a small portion of the first precinct is cornered off in the 13th District, with most of it being in the 10th District. Half of the third precinct is split between the two, with the northern half sitting in the 13th District and southern half in the 10th District.
North Middleton’s first precinct polls at the fire company at 2061 Spring Road. Citizens in the third precinct poll at another fire company location at 310 N. Middleton Road.
The split will have “very little impact on our voters,” said Cumberland County Bureau of Elections Director Bethany Salzarulo.
Poll workers will be easily able to identify which voters get which ballot, depending on their party registration and which congressional district their specific address lies within, she said.
“It will be very clear who belongs where,” Salzarulo said. “We are still working out all the details.”
On Jan. 22, the state Supreme Court issued an order for the state to re-draw its congressional map after deciding in favor of the plaintiffs in a case that maintained the existing maps were gerrymandered along partisan lines, and thus violated the state’s constitutional guarantee of equal representation.
State legislators and Gov. Tom Wolf were unable to reach a consensus on a new map, resulting in several proposed re-draws being submitted to the court. On Feb. 19, the court issued its own map, based on the maps submitted, as well as input from redistricting experts.
Republican lawmakers have challenged the ability of the state Supreme Court to effectively impose new districts, taking the fight to federal court. A hearing on allegations that the state Supreme Court violated the federal constitution was held Friday, but no decision has been rendered.
The new congressional map contains much more compact districts and fewer divisions of counties than the old map. However, Cumberland County is still split, with the eastern half of the county in the new 10th District, and the western half in the new 13th District.
Congressman Scott Perry, who represents the 4th District on the old maps, will likely run in the 10th District, which also includes Dauphin County and northern York County, where Perry lives.
Democratic challengers in the 10th include Alan Howe of Carlisle, Eric Ding of Carlisle, Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson of York, George Scott of Dillsburg and Christina Hartman of Lancaster.
The 13th District appears to have no incumbent. Most of the district is within what was formerly the 9th District, represented by Congressman Bill Shuster, who has announced he is not running for re-election. The district stretches from western Cumberland County all the way to eastern Westmoreland County.
Republican hopefuls in the 13th include state Rep. Stephen Bloom of North Middleton Township, Benjamin Hornberger of Shippensburg, Art Halvorson of Bedford County, state Sen. John Eichelberger of Blair County, retired Col. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County and Travis Schooley of Franklin County.
Todd Rowley, of Westmoreland County, is running for the 13th on the Democratic side.