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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A three-judge panel says a pair of lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s new boundaries for congressional and legislative seats can move forward.

The Superior Court judges on Monday declined to dismiss more than half of the claims offered by attorneys for Democratic elected officials, civil rights and election watchdog groups and voters from about 200 pages of lawsuits filed in November.

Lawyers for the state and legislative leaders had wanted the lawsuits dismissed completely.

The ruling means a significant portion of the case can move along to trial, but the Republican-penned maps will still be used for this year’s primary after the judges declined two weeks ago to delay the May elections. That means candidate filing will begin on time next Monday.

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

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