Judge to Hear Pa. Overseas Vote Suit

A federal judge will hear arguments next week on a request by the Justice Department (search) to give military families and overseas voters in Pennsylvania until after the Nov. 2 election to submit absentee ballots for president.

U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane (search) set the hearing for Tuesday after a state court knocked Ralph Nader (search) off Pennsylvania's presidential ballot.

The judge had initially declined to rule on the request until state courts resolved whether Nader could be listed on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate.

On Wednesday, a state court removed Nader from the ballot, citing thousands of fraude Justice Department contended that Nader's on-again-off-again status caused some counties last month to mail ballots that listed him as a candidate while others sent ballots that omitted his name.

An extension of the deadline for overseas ballots could delay the tabulation of the presidential vote if the contest for Pennsylvania's 21 electoral votes — the nation's fifth-largest prize — is as close as some polls suggest.