ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has heard arguments in an appeal by the state’s Democratic Party to stop a November referendum on the state’s congressional redistricting map.

Lawyers contended Thursday an online process used to gather thousands of signatures violates a legal requirement that information must be submitted directly by the signer, instead of from a form online that is later mailed. They also say the signer is supposed to be observed writing the signature.

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But attorneys defending the online process say it is simply a helpful innovation enabling signers to avoid errors that would get their signatures thrown out.

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The Maryland Board of Elections has accepted 59,201 signatures. That’s more than 55,736 needed.

The Maryland Court of Appeals is expected to rule soon. Language for the ballot is due Monday.

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