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      Federal suit filed against District II election date

      Lawsuit document

      A federal lawsuit is being brought against the City of Columbia Tuesday.

      Katharine Butler, a USC law professor, filed the suit in hopes of halting the April 6 District II election.

      The lawsuit states that the changes made to the election date don't comply with the guidelines set by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

      She says, since the changes haven't been approved by the Department of Justice, the scheduled election violates the act.

      Butler is asking for a temporary restraining order against the election.

      According to Butler's bio, she is a nationally recognized expert on the Voting Rights Act and got her start in the Department of Justice.

      You can read the entire lawsuit here.

      The District II Columbia City Council election has been plagued with controversy.

      It all started when the seat was left vacant after former Councilman E.W. Cromartie announced his resignation along with plans to plead guilty to federal tax evasion charges.

      In urgency, the city decided to hold an election along with the vote for Columbia's mayor on April 6, giving voters just 23 days to learn about candidates.

      That decision was challenged in circuit court and it was decided that a later date would be best.

      That ruling was later overturned in the state's supreme court, putting the election back in April.

      We'll have more on this breaking story soon as it comes in. Keep checking back for the latest.

      And for more on this, and other elections, be sure to check out our Politics Page. There you'll find the latest political news along with candidate bios and voting information.