REDISTRICTING: STILL WAITING
Previous issues of the Legislative Update have reported in detail on the possible impact of the statewide redistricting legislation on city elections scheduled for May 12, 2012. As of press time, the previously agreed-to primary election date of April 3 appears to no longer be a possibility. According to the federal judge in the redistricting lawsuit, the primary election date will almost certainly be pushed back – most likely to May 29. However, he has not yet ordered the primary and primary runoff elections to take place on a certain date.
On January 20, the United States Supreme Court remanded the redistricting cases back to the San Antonio district court with instructions to use different standards to draw the interim maps to be used in the upcoming primary elections. The district court invited the League to testify at a court hearing held on January 27 to express to the court how the scheduling of the primary and primary runoff elections could impact city elections. The League testified at the hearing about the detrimental impact of scheduling the primary election in close proximity to the May uniform election date. Doing so could affect cities, due to a possible strain on counties’ electronic voting machines.
Thus far, neither the parties to the lawsuit, nor the district court, has agreed upon a set of interim maps to be used in the upcoming state and federal elections. Consequently, no primary or primary runoff election dates have been set in stone. One thing is fairly clear: there doesn’t appear to be enough time for the elections to take place in early April.
The League will continue to monitor the redistricting lawsuit and will update cities on the primary and primary runoff election dates when that information becomes available.