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Gerrymandering decision renders challenge to Josh Riley petition signatures ‘moot’

The state Board of Elections says the recent court decision invalidating Congressional District maps drawn by Democratic lawmakers makes the challenge against petition signatures gathered by Democratic 22nd District candidate Josh Riley “moot.”

Related: Josh Riley faces lawsuit in 22nd district race, county chairs criticize Onondaga County Democrats

The Citizen reports the board told the State Supreme Court in Albany, where the case was to have been heard, to cancel a hearing set for Monday. Joseph Cote, the attorney for Onondaga County Democratic Committee member Diane Dwire, who filed the challenge, agrees the case is moot. Riley’s attorney James Long says he would have preferred that the case proceed on its merits or that the court acted on his motion to dismiss the case.

Related: Seven voter signatures at center of lawsuit against Josh Riley for Congress

Dwire, who supports Democratic candidate Francis Conole in the 22nd District, filed the objection, saying Riley staffers listed as having witnessed voters signing the petitions, did not actually witness the signatures. The suit aimed to invalidate Riley’s signatures, which would have removed him from the ballot.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The state Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week that the Congressional maps are invalid and ordered a special master to oversee the process of drawing new maps. The new maps are expected to be finished later this month. It’s possible Riley, who lives in Ithaca, might no longer be a resident of the 22nd District when the new maps are released. Riley could still run in the District representing Ithaca, but now that there’s no longer a residency requirement for members of Congress, he could seek election in another district.

As part of the gerrymandering decision, the primary elections have been moved from June to August.