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Md. high court orders Primary Day moved back to July 19

With Maryland facing several court challenges to its legislative redistricting plans, the Court of Appeals has ordered the 2022 primary elections to be moved from June 28 to July 19.

The order, released Tuesday afternoon, also changes several candidate filing deadlines:

  1. The deadline for filing certificates of candidacy is extended to Friday, April 15;
  2. The deadline for candidates to withdraw a certificate of candidacy is extended to Monday, April 18;
  3. The deadline to fill a vacancy in candidacy for a primary election is extended to Wednesday, April 20;
  4. The deadline to challenge a candidate’s residency is extended to Thursday, April 21, 2022.

State and election officials had warned that unless there is some clarity soon to the status of the reapportionment maps drawn by the General Assembly — and under legal challenge — they would have difficulty preparing for a June 28 primary.

A series of challenges to Maryland’s legislative redistricting plan will go to trial starting March 22. The bench trial will take place before Special Magistrate Alan M. Wilner, a retired Court of Appeals judge who also handled redistricting challenges a decade ago.

The proceeding will take place at the Court of Appeals in Annapolis and will be broadcast live online.

Four lawsuits have been filed over the map, including by two separate groups of Republican delegates. The petitions claim that the redistricting maps fail to meet the requirements in the Maryland Constitution for districts that are compact, contiguous and mindful of natural and jurisdictional boundaries.

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office filed motions to dismiss each lawsuit.

Wilner has indicated in court filings that he intends to file his report with the Court of Appeals on April 5.