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Pa. Democrats Object To Efforts To Delay Primary Election

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The Pennsylvania capitol, in Harrisburg. File photo)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Democratic legislators say they’ll fight efforts to get Pennsylvania’s primary election postponed. They plan to file, today, to intervene in a federal lawsuit on the matter.

Republicans sued in federal court to delay the primary, after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected their proposal for redrawing state legislative districts. Many of the districts were meandering shapes, encompassing vastly different geographic areas, and the Court ordered that new ones, fitting the state constitutional mandate for compact districts, be drawn up. In the meantime, the court said to use the current map, drawn up in 2001.

Republicans objected to that in federal court. They want another chance to draw new maps before the election. But state Senator Jay Costa says Democrats will tell the court there isn’t time. “It’s impossible. In fact, some of the justices indicated that. There’s no way this can be done in a normal primary cycle.”

And Costa denounces the move as third-world style election stealing. “It would deprive and rob voters of the opportunity to vote in a primary, particularly to pick a presidential candidate.”

House Democrat Frank Dermody says the Republican objection would disenfranchise voters, “instead of one man one vote, it’s one man no votes.”

Costa says the primary should be held, as schedule, April 24th, using the 2001 maps as the state high court ordered.