Ongoing Redistricting Battle Frustrates Election Officials

By: Daniel Armbruster Email
By: Daniel Armbruster Email

Super Tuesday won't pack as big of a punch because delegate rich Texas is sitting out waiting on the battle over redistricting to come to an end. Over the past decade, Texas has seen a population boom of more than 4 million people. That means Texas stands to get four additional U.S. Congressional seats. 65% of the population growth has been among Hispanics and because of that lawmakers are required to draw the new boundaries to reflect the increase in the Latino population. However, it's taking both sides of this issue a very long time to come to an agreement. That is causing a headache for Brazos County election officials.

"We don't know when to have the primary. We've still got ballots to program. We don't know who the candidates are going to be. We don't have our precincts finished," said Brazos County Clerk, Karen McQueen.

The earliest possible primary date for Texas is May 29th, but if redistricting isn't decided soon that date could be pushed back to June.

"It takes us a good two months to program, to test, get our polling places notified and get our workers," said McQueen.

To add to that all voter ID cards expired at the end of December in Texas. The county tax office, which also handles voter registration, has been getting numerous calls from residents concerned that they haven't received a new card. It’s not a mistake, but instead just another result of the redistricting battle.

"We are going to get the cards out. We're just waiting until we have the best information possible," said County Tax Assessor, Kristeen Roe.

Roe says because congressional district lines will most likely change they can't print out the new cards.
If you're already a registered voter, you will automatically receive a new voter registration card after redistricting maps are finalized. Only those who have moved or changed names need to re-register.

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