SALEM TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — From Your Local Election Headquarters, a special election was held in the 27th District Tuesday, and this vote will help determine who controls the power in Harrisburg.

The polls closed at 8:00 p.m. and Democrat Patricia Lawton is facing off against Republican Lynda Schlegel Culver for the 27th District State Senate Seat.

Eyewitness News stopped by Berwick Assembly Of God Church where voters cast their ballots in the 27th District Special Election.

Everything went smoothly here this time, compared to the November Midterms when paper shortages plagued Luzerne County polling places including this one on Election Day.

“People are hoping that we have paper, and that they can cast their vote, and it would count. It’s been really, really slow, honestly. But mostly everyone is just like I hope you have paper,” said Minority Inspector Hope Hardiman.

Democrat Patricia Lawton faced off against Republican Lynda Schlegel Culver for the 27th District State Senate Seat.

It was vacated by Republican Senator John Gordner last November, who held the position since 2003.

“I think it’s important in any election to vote, not just a Special Election. But a Special Election is kinda different. We’re replacing a gentleman that did a very good job for our area and I think we need someone else who is going to pick up the flag and go with that,” said Robert A. Diefenderfer of Shickshinny.

The 27th district covers Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder Counties, including parts of lower Luzerne County.

Turnout in special elections has been historically low, but people who did turn out say it’s important to have your voice heard.

“I’ve talked to several people today about, are you going to vote today? Because it is important,” said Robert A. Diefenderfer of Shickshinny.

Tuesday’s cold, snowy weather didn’t stop voters like Helena Samsel from exercising her right.

“Very important. We should never lose an opportunity to voice our opinions,” said Samsel.

It’s the first of four legislative races to be decided over the next two weeks in Pennsylvania.

The other three special elections will be held on February 7th For house seats that will finally decide who controls the 203-seat chamber.