Heads up, New Jersey voters: The polling place you've been going to for years may not be the one you're assigned for this Election Day.

That's because of the redistricting process, which shifts political borders every 10 years to reflect new population counts from the U.S. Census.

Most notably for New Jersey residents, congressional district borders have been redrawn. A voter in Rahway, for instance, would have been part of the 10th Congressional District, served by U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. and including parts of Union, Hudson and Essex Counties, until this election. Now, that same voter is in the hotly contested 7th District, a sprawling territory that includes some of Union, Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties, and will choose between incumbent Democrat Tom Malinowski and Republican Challenger Tom Kean Jr.

That's had some candidates going door-to-door, introducing themselves to voters they've never before represented.

The new borders are the product of a process in which Republican and Democratic delegations each presented maps as part of a redistricting commission. A tiebreaker, former Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, ultimately chose the Democrats' maps — saying both proposals were fair, but noting a Republican map was chosen a decade earlier. Republicans challenged that decision before the state Supreme Court, but ultimately, it stood.

In general, the map favors Democrats, shoring up their support in several parts of the state. But the 7th District is a notable exception — there are now about 30,000 more Republican voters in its new configuration than before. Independents there outnumber voters registered with either party individually.

Similar processes have redrawn local ward and district lines in individual municipalities, which means changes for voters who select members of their governing bodies (like town councils and township committees) or other local positions. It could also mean voters are headed to different polling locations than they're used to. Your polling place should be listed on your sample ballot, but the state additionally maintains a polling place finder here.

Municipal sites and offices can generally make ward and district maps available for their communities. The new Congressional District maps are here.

New Jersey's most contested races

Most New Jersey congressional races this year are considered predictable — with NJ-07 being the biggest outlier. Roll Call considers Malinowski the second-most vulnerable incumbent in the House. Yet the Malinowski camp says its internal polls show the race is extremely tight. The Malinowski campaign has been reminding voters of its candidate's pro-choice bona fides, and arguing that Kean — who says he supports a right to choose for up to 20 weeks, with some allowances after that — would side with fellow Republicans in a national ban or allowing states to impose severe restrictions. The Kean campaign argues inflation is this race's defining issue, blaming Democrats like Malinowski for too much government spending. The Malinowski campaign counters that Kean isn't specific about what he'd cut.

Malinowski has embraced the press, making himself available for frequent interviews. The Kean campaign has largely shunned the press, and shut reporters out of events. For instance, Kean's campaign didn't respond to multiple messages inviting it to participate in WNYC's Morning Edition broadcast from the Westfield Diner focused on the 7th Congressional District race this week.

The common wisdom says NJ-07 is a largely moderate district — particularly given the high number of independents. And the Kean campaign has presented a largely moderate stance in public events over the last few months, such as emphasizing his self-description as a pro-choice candidate at a recent forum. The campaign website, though, still includes a page, not accessible from its navigation or linked elsewhere on the site, that describes Kean as "the conservative leader New Jersey needs." That strikes a harder-right tone, with promises about "fighting every step of the way to protect the unborn from egregious abortion laws proposed in New Jersey" and "protecting curricula from Governor Murphy’s CRT [Critical Race Theory] agenda." New Jersey's educational standards for curriculado not include lessons on critical race theory, an analytical framework dating to the 1970s for discussing the impact of race in the legal system —  though the term is sometimes used more broadly to include a wide range of topics related to race and racism.

As of Friday, the Cook Political Report rates the NJ-05 race, where incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer is facing a challenge from Frank Pallotta, as "likely Democrat" — meaning the race isn't considered competitive, but could still become so. NJ-03, where incumbent Democrat Andy Kim is facing a challenge from Republican Bob Healy is rated "lean Democratic," signaling more of a contest but still strong odds in Kim's favor. NJ-07, the Malinowski-Kean race, is "lean Republican."

New Jersey Spotlight News has breakdowns of the candidates' positions in each district race: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th. Spotlight also finds spending by political action committees and dark money groups has reached nearly $22 million in this year's New Jersey congressional races, with $8.3 million alone spent on NJ-07. About three-quarters of that is in favor of Kean — on ads either criticizing Malinowski or supporting Kean.