Judge orders officials to keep late ballots

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered election officials in Virginia to preserve late-arriving absentee ballots that Republican John McCain's campaign claims should be counted.

The McCain campaign says in a lawsuit that absentee ballots weren't mailed on time to many military members serving overseas. The complaint asks the court to order the state to count absentee ballots from overseas troops postmarked by Tuesday and received by Nov. 14.

The deadline for ballots to be received is 7 p.m. on Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Richard Williams said Tuesday that he will hear the lawsuit on Nov. 10. He ordered election officials to keep the late-arriving ballots until then.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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