What the redistricting dilemma means for you - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

What the redistricting dilemma means for you

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Today the United States Supreme Court rejected the proposed redistricting plan for Texas. That keeps the fate of the Texas primary elections unclear as we edge closer to possibly pushing them back again.

"If it goes back again to the Supreme Court we may not have primaries in Texas and that would just complicate everything immensely," says Smith County Democratic Chair David Henderson.

Henderson says it has now turned into a waiting game-- one that Texas Republicans say might cost them their voice in the presidential primary.

"It's a very real possibility. You may very well see two primary elections. You may see us hold April 3 for presidential, statewide and local races and you may see the Texas Senate, Texas House, U.S. Congressional --Texas Congressional seats done in a later election," says Texas State Senator- District 1 Kevin Eltife.

And, if you're a registered voter in Texas, you can quit checking the mail for your voter registration card because it's not coming-- at least not yet.

"The redistricting lines are in litigation. That has put our mass-mail of voter cards out on hold because we would not know exactly what precincts to put everyone in," says Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson.

With each census comes new electoral maps. And, while not a big deal for East Texas this go-around, a rise in the state's minority population is affecting the districts drawn near Houston and The Valley.

"The reason it's so unclear is the Supreme Court did not say, 'ok we're throwing out these maps and we're going with these maps,' they said, 'the maps the San Antonio court drew are wrong' and told them to draw new maps," says Eltife.

State officials say those new maps need to be in place by February 1-- giving that San Antonio court 12 days to come up with a final plan, or the primary risks being pushed back, yet again.

If the February 1 deadline is met, voter registration cards will be sent out on February 13 and the primary will be held April 3.

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