Despite long odds, Latino group pushes for delaying Pa. primary

Some Latino voting rights advocates want to postpone Pennsylvania’s primary until new district boundaries can be drawn.  They want more time so elections for the state legislature can come from a map reflecting the growing Latino population. The group “Latino Lines” supported the redistricting plans that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected as unconstitutional in January. 

Drawing from 2010 Census data, the plan drafted by Republicans who control the legislature would have created four districts dominated by Latinos.  

Without a new plan approved, the old district lines are set to be used in the April 24th primary.  

Former Philadelphia Councilman, Angel Ortiz, says the group wants the election postponed to give time to draw a map from the new census numbers.  

“We cannot allow a primary to go forward with the lines of 2001,” said Ortiz. “We ask the legislature, ‘Do your job!  Legislate. Put in a new plan!’  Because we will not accept this going down the line.”  

Chris Borick, Political Science professor at Muhlenberg College, says it is unlikely that the primary date will be changed.

“When primaries are moved, it usually is for a very very clear and present problem that will restrict that election from taking place in what I would consider a free and legitimate way,” said Borick.

Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the state. The Pennsylvania Reapportionment Commission meets on Wednesday in hopes of pushing forward to draw a new map.

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