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Timing Keeps Lunny on Ballot, but Votes Won't Count

Court orders Lunny removed, but there is not enough time left to do so.

As if this year's primary election for Pennsylvania's 22nd House District seat wasn't confusing enough, voters will have to clear yet another hurdle on April 24 by avoiding the temptation to select Shawn Lunny's name from the ballot.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided on Friday that , but because the ballot cannot be changed so close to Election Day, Lunny's name will remain.

Nevertheless, selecting Lunny's name will be a waste of a vote, as all selections of the young Democrat will not be counted. Voters can still vote for Lunny as a write-in candidate, though.

Lunny's name was ordered to be removed because he did not submit, on his petition for nomination, 300 valid signatures of registered Democratic voters in the 22nd District, according to the court's ruling.

The entirety of the 22nd District includes at least parts of ,  and Castle Shannon Borough and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of OverbrookBrooklineMount WashingtonBeechviewDuquesne HeightsManchesterSheraden and Esplen.

Click here to see if you reside in the 22nd District.

Aside from Lunny, the valid names to appear on the 22nd District's Democratic primary ballot on April 24 will be and .

The lone Republican competing in his party's primary election for that seat is , meaning that Cratsley is almost certain to face either Molchany or Schmotzer in November's general election.

Another job for voters on April 24 will be to select—in a special election between only Schmotzer and Cratsley—who will fill the remainder of seat, starting immediately and continuing through the end of 2012.

The 22nd has been without a state representative since mid-January when Wagner resigned from her seat to focus on being the newly elected controller of Allegheny County.

In other words, if you're a registered Democrat or a registered Republican, you can vote twice on April 24—once in the special election and again in the actual primary. Otherwise, you can only vote once—in the special election.

Still confused? Email the author of this article at robert.healyiii@patch.com with any questions.

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