Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Supreme Court won't be making a quick decision on whether there should be a special election for Governor.
In an order issued Monday, the justices gave acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, House Speaker Rick Thompson and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant until Dec. 27 to respond to a petition seeking a special election before 2012.
The West Virginia Citizen Action Group filed the petition last week, arguing that not holding an earlier vote violates the state's constitution.
Legislative lawyers have concluded that relevant state law won't allow for an election before November 2012, when the office is on the ballot for a full four-year term.
Tomblin became acting Governor after Joe Manchin was elected to the U.S. Senate.
(Copyright 2010 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)