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Challenges to Md. redistricting plan lead to revised 2022 candidate deadlines

Key deadlines for Maryland’s 2022 elections have been pushed back as a result of lawsuits filed challenging a plan that redraws the state’s legislative districts.

The changes are the result of an order from the state’s highest court issued Friday evening pushing the deadline to file as a candidate back one month to March 22.

Subsequently it affects other deadlines.

The deadline to withdraw as a candidate moves from March 4 to March 24. The March 8 deadline to file as a candidate to fill a vacancy in candidacy moves to March 28. The deadline to challenge the residency of a candidate moves from March 9 to March 29.

The order from Court of Appeals Chief Judge Joseph Getty comes a day after the filing deadline to challenge the redistricting plan approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

In all, four lawsuits were filed, including two by two separate groups of Republican delegates and the wife of another. The lawsuits charge that the maps fail to meet requirements within the Maryland Constitution that require districts to be compact, contiguous and mindful of natural and jurisdictional boundaries.

One suit contends that the new districts violate free speech protections by packing Republican voters into districts to help Democrats.

The Office of the Attorney General is required to respond to the lawsuits by Feb 15. A scheduling conference is set for two days later.