Spot checks at Philadelphia polling places this morning showed turnouts ranging from "a little heavier than usual" in South Philadelphia's 36th Ward to "extremely light" in the Northeast's 56th Ward. Most wards reported light voting.
National pundits are watching Pennsylvania for some kind of message to the country.
A convincing victory for Bill Clinton here could cement his hold on the Democratic nomination, it is said.
Local Democrats who thought the presidential race was between Clinton and Jerry Brown (real name, Edmund G. Jr.), may be surprised to discover six names on their presidential ballot.
The others are Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey and Tom Harkin, all of whom have dropped out, and Lyndon H. LaRouche, who's in jail.
Republicans have an easier choice: George Bush or Pat Buchanan. Ross Perot's not there.
A horse race has developed in the contest for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Arlen Specter.
There are five names on the Democratic ballot, but the real struggle is between Gov. Casey's lieutenant governor, Mark Singel, and Lynn Yeakel, a political newcomer who wasn't taken seriously until recently.
If Yeakel wins, it might be one of those messages the pundits are looking for. Singel is a longtime professional pol. Yeakel is a fresh face - and a woman - and she's angry at Specter for the way he grilled Anita Hill in the Senate hearings on Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination.
The other Democrats are Freddy Mann Friedman, Philip Valenti and Bob Colville.
Republicans will choose between Specter and anti-abortion activist Stephen Freind, a state representative from Delaware County.
In the 2nd Congressional District, C. DeLores Tucker is trying to make an Indy 500 out of her go at U.S. Rep. Lucien Blackwell, who took the seat occupied by William H. Gray III in a special election and is seeking re- election.
The Republicans have no contest in that district. Businessman Larry Hollins is unopposed.
There is a scramble for the state auditor general's job and a Democratic contest for attorney general, but state treasurer candidates are unopposed.
Philadelphians will elect their candidates for four state Senate seats and all 27 state House seats. In the House districts, inbumbents are challenged in only six. Of the four state Senate seats open, three are challenged.
There is also a bond issue, seeking approval for the borrowing of $350 million to improve the state's water.
TIPS FOR VOTERS
If you're one of the city's 820,815 registered voters, you'll be able to cast your ballot in today's Pennsylvania primary election.
And if you're one of Philadelphia's 576,356 registered Democrats or 223,013 Republicans, you'll be able to vote for a candidate for president, U.S. senator and other offices.
Here are some questions and answers about voting:
WHEN CAN I VOTE? Polls will be open from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. If you're in line at 8 p.m., you must be allowed to vote.
WHERE CAN I VOTE? To learn the location of your polling place, call 686-1590.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I CAN VOTE? If you registered to vote by last March 30, or if you voted in any election in the last two calendar years, you can vote.
WHAT IF I'M REGISTERED BUT MY NAME'S NOT IN THE BINDER? Go to any Election Court in City Hall, or any one of the 17 district police stations, to get an affidavit allowing you to vote.
OTHER PROBLEMS VOTING? Call the Board of Elections at 686-1590 for problems such as absentee ballots, poll workers or other matters. If you think the problem is serious, call the district attorney's office at 686-8727, 686-8733, 686-8768 or 686-8778.
Another source of help is the Committee of Seventy, 545-0104.
SUBURBAN RESIDENTS can call their county election boards for help: Bucks, 348-6154; Chester, 344-6410; Delaware, 891-4120; and Montgomery, 278-3275.
Be aware that state law bans anyone from interfering with you within 10 feet of the entrance to a polling place, or "helping" you inside the voting booth (unless you're required to have help and are so registered).
It's also illegal for anyone to look into the booth while you're voting; and it's illegal to remove or write on voting machine ballot labels, or tamper with the machines.