March Primaries Could Be Delayed Again As Redistricting Battle Continues
Texas’ March primaries face another delay if new political maps cannot be agreed upon.
In 2012, Texas voters had to wait until May 29 to participate in primaries originally scheduled for March 6. The postponement arose from bickering over political maps that were drawn following the 2010 census. Minority groups felt the maps were discriminatory and filed a lawsuit that resulted in temporary maps drawn by three federal judges in San Antonio.
The fight over redistricting is still raging, with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and minority groups again filing suits. The Texas legislature has proposed simply adopting the maps drawn in 2012, but minority groups say those maps are also discriminatory and want them redrawn. If the federal court rules in favor of those groups, judges would need to delay the primary in order to draw new maps. Delays could also result from the state’s appeal of the decision.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is still determined to require that Texas seek prior approval from the federal government before making any decision despite a July Supreme Court ruling invalidating Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required that certain states get approval from the Justice Department before changing election rules.