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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A three-judge panel has refused to delay North Carolina’s May 8 primary while a court considers a lawsuit over Republican-drawn boundaries for legislative and congressional districts.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said Friday’s unanimous ruling reflects a pragmatic examination of the case. Ridgeway says the two-month delay requested by the plaintiffs would not have made much difference in resolving the election districts.

Democratic elected officials and civil rights and election watchdog groups argue the plans are unconstitutional because of racial gerrymandering and boundaries that cross too many county lines. They had wanted the primary postponed until July 10.

Legislative leaders and lawyers for the state say the boundaries are legal and a preliminary injunction is not needed.

Candidate filing is scheduled to begin in less than four weeks.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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