Possible Impact of New Congressional Districts

(WBRE/WYOU-TV) It's a race against the clock in Harrisburg for lawmakers to re-draw the congressional district lines. It's all part of the ongoing gerrymandering controversy in Pennsylvania. 
The State Supreme Court ruled the current maps are unconstitutional...Lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick is working the story..

And that's what we are hearing from county election officials across our region today...

Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri is closely watching what is happening in Harrisburg. 

State lawmakers are trying to hammer out new congressional district maps. The state supreme court ruled that the previous maps were gerrymandered to give the republican candidates an advantage. County elections bureaus are getting a lot of calls and questions.

"We're getting a ton of cals from candidates people who want to run for office that may be gerrymandered out of their distict and maybe in different locations. Where do they go? Are signatures still going to be considered valid? These are the questions we have right now." said Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager.

The answers will come  if lawmakers can re-draw the maps and get them to the Governor by Friday. 
 The governor must then either approve them and send them to the State Supreme Court by February 15th . 
If he rejects them, then the  state supreme  court has indicated  it will re-draw the boundaries. 
    King's College Political Science Professor Dr. Dave Sosar doubts it will get done ahead of the deadlines. .

"This takes months of work to do. How you can actually just shape it and carve new districts. It's not  that simple to carve up the state."

So election bureau officials are quietly making plans for a Special Congressional Election in the 11th district now held by Representative Lou Barletta who's giving up the seat to make a US senate bid.
  Eyewitness News is told that special election  would cost local counties - and taxpayers - somewhere between 250-to-300-thousand dollars in each county.

 "Right now we really haven't heard there could be. Right now we're just planning our election with the races for may the 15th." Said Marion Medalis, Director Lackawanna County of Bureau of Elections

Learn More at PA Department of State

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