North Carolina court delays primaries amid electoral map dispute

North Carolina's Supreme Court has delayed primary elections in the state by more than two months as litigation plays out over a Republican-drawn political map that critics argue is gerrymandered.

The court order issued Wednesday moves primary elections from March 8, 2022 to May 17, 2022 and directs a lower court to issue a ruling on the lawsuit by Jan. 11.

The lower court of appeals in the state is looking at allegations of gerrymandering in the Republican-drawn political map passed last month.

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Wednesday's order also limits the candidate filing period for all offices, though says those who have already successfully filed can still run.

The court order stated that the decision was made "in light of the great public interest in the subject matter of these cases."

The North Carolina General Assembly approved the redistricting map on Nov. 4 and were sued over it starting the following day. The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters filed a lawsuit on Nov. 17.

The map, which would set political boundaries for the next decade, has been criticized by Democrats and anti-gerrymandering advocates.

The map would likely give the GOP at least two more seats in the U.S. House and a significant advantage in the state legislature.