Possible delay in Texas primaries
Tue, 24 Jan 2012 05:14:07 GMT —
It is back to the drawing board.
The Supreme Court on Friday threw out electoral maps drawn by federal judges in Texas that favored minorities.
But the fate of the April primaries is still unclear.
"Texas primaries right now are in disarray, said Yvonne Ramon the Hidalgo County Elections Administrator. Without having the maps to guide us as to drawing the lines so we can tell our community who represents them we are on a hold.
The primary election date is April 3rd.
A three-judge court in San Antonio now has to come up with a new redistricting map, which means there's a lot of uncertainty for candidates running for office, who won't know what their district will look like or who they will represent.
As a consequence, voter certificates can't be mailed out.
The drawn-out mapping process is also a major headache for election administrators like Ramon.
We've got to move our voters, said Ramon. We've got to work with our vendors that each take two to three weeks to upload a new data base. Then our vendor who is going to print our certificate needs another two to three weeks.
Ramon says the elections office needs time to reprogram the election precincts so that the ballots will be correct.
Another option is a split primary, with one vote for statewide and countywide races on April 3rd and all others on a later date.
That means two voter certificates need to go out, added Ramon. And that means double the money for the county tax payer. Normally it takes about $75,000 to send a new voters certificate.
Local election administrators say final maps need to be approved by the end of January in order to hold a primary but time is quickly running out.