Pa. Could Delay Primary Over Redistricting

Wednesday, 08 Feb 2012 03:28 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Pennsylvania’s district lines for state congressional seats remain in question after the state Supreme Court rejected proposed redistricting maps, leaving Republicans to consider pushing back the April 24 primary. If the primary date changes, Pennsylvania voters could also lose any major sway in the Republican presidential nominee race, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
 
The new lines could combine Democratic seats in Western Pennsylvania or move them east, either of which would be favorable for Republican races for state offices.
 
GOP leaders were in federal court Monday to seek an injunction that would prevent the state from using the old redistricting lines this year, but the court did not rule. A four-member majority of the state Supreme Court last Friday ordered the state’s Legislative Reapportionment Commission to redraw the state district maps, and ordered the current districts, drawn a decade ago, to stay intact.
 
The Pennsylvania redistricting fight is over state government elections, but it also could impact the presidential and U.S. congressional races, which are included on the April 24 ballot. The state could also decide to separate its primaries — holding one for the national races, which wouldn’t be affected by the Supreme Court’s decision — and a later one for the state races.
 
However, holding two primaries would be expensive for county election boards, and could create problems with voting machines, which must be quarantined after elections in case of recounts and then reprogrammed.

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