By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) — The state Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that special elections to fill six vacant Pennsylvania House seats – including four in the Philadelphia region — be held on the day of the Pennsylvania primary.

The fate of the special elections was one of several matters affected by the state Supreme Court’s decision in early 2012 declaring the new map of state House and Senate districts to be unconstitutional.

Taking the position that he had to wait for a revised map to be drawn up and approved, the speaker of the Pennsylvania House had delayed calling special elections for six vacant state House seats, including three in Philadelphia, and one each in Montgomery County, Allegheny County and the Lehigh Valley.

But the state high court has now ordered the speaker to call special elections in those districts to coincide with the April 24th primary.

The court had previously declared that the primary take place using the 2001 map.

Legislative leaders had considered delaying the primary until new districts were approved, but the Senate majority leader said last week he was abandoning that idea.

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