Election Day is a little more than a month away, and after U.S. congressional district lines were redrawn last year, it’s entirely possible that you’re not sure who your choices for various elected offices are.
So here’s a guide to help you figure out your options based on where in Centre County you live.
If you don’t know where your polling place is, you can find that information on the Centre County Elections & Voter Registration website. You can also find information about registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot on that website.
Election Day is Nov. 6.
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Thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling last winter, the U.S. congressional district lines were redrawn. They are the same districts as were established for May’s primary.
Centre County, which was previously totally in U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson’s district, is now split between two districts — the 12th and 15th congressional districts.
12th Congressional District: If you live in College, Ferguson, Gregg, Haines, part of Halfmoon, Harris, Miles, Penn or Potter townships or Centre Hall, Millheim or State College boroughs, you’ll vote between Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Marino and Democratic challenger Marc Friedenberg.
15th Congressional District: If you live in Benner, Boggs, Burnside, Curtin, part of Halfmoon, Howard, Huston, Liberty, Marion, Patton, Rush, Snow Shoe, Spring, Taylor, Union, Walker or Worth townships or Bellefonte, Howard, Milesburg, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, Snow Shoe or Unionville boroughs, you’ll vote between Republican incumbent Thompson and Democratic challenger Susan Boser.
Here’s how Halfmoon Township is split: blocks 1009, 1011, 1012, 1013, 1018, 1054, 1055, 1056, 1057, 1058, 1059, 1060, 1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1066, 1067, 1068 and 1069 of tract 011901 vote in the 15th. Everyone else in Halfmoon votes in the 12th.
Fair Districts Centre County coordinator Debbie Trudeau said all the Supreme Court case did was provide a “bandaid” and “locally it was a pretty poor bandaid.” She said it didn’t solve the problem of gerrymandering — drawing legislative or congressional districts in a way that favors one party or group.
“We are split in the middle of our community, and there’s no good reason for it,” she said. “… The process that we have, even for the remediation, is inadequate.”
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
The state legislative districts were not affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. Centre County is split between four legislative districts.
76th Legislative District: If you live in Benner, Burnside, Boggs, Curtin, Haines, Howard, Liberty, Marion, Miles, Snow Shoe or Union townships or Howard, Milesburg, Snow Shoe or Unionville borough, you’ll vote between Democrat Mike Hanna Jr. and Republican Stephanie Borowicz.
77th Legislative District: If you live in part of College, Huston, part of Ferguson, part of Patton or Rush townships or Philipsburg or State College, incumbent Democrat state Rep. Scott Conklin is running unopposed.
81st Legislative District: If you live in part of Ferguson, Halfmoon, part of Patton, Taylor or Worth townships or Port Matilda borough, you’ll vote between incumbent Republican state Rep. Rich Irvin and Democratic challenger Rick Rogers.
171st Legislative District: If you live in part of College, part of Ferguson, Harris, Gregg, Penn, Potter, Spring or Walker townships or Bellefonte, Centre Hall or Millheim boroughs, you’ll vote between incumbent Republican state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff and Democratic challenger Erin McCracken.
Sample ballots can be looked up by voting precinct on the Centre County voting office website. Sample ballots for the general election are expected to be online sometime this week.
That’s the best way to find out who you’re voting for, said Joyce McKinley, director of the county elections office.
This is an easy one. If you live anywhere in Centre County, you live in the 34th Senatorial District. You’ll vote between incumbent Republican Sen. Jake Corman, the majority leader, and Democratic challenger Ezra Nanes.
Learn more about gerrymandering
- What: Gerrmandering and AAUW: Sorting Out the Pieces
- When: refreshments, 7 p.m.; program, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10
- Where: forum room, Centre Region Council of Governments Building, 2643 Gateway Drive
- Info: Sue Johnston, firstname.lastname@example.org