Voter confusion mounts as Texas redistricting battle continues - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Voter confusion mounts as Texas redistricting battle continues

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

A battle over a proposed redistricting map for Texas continues in the Supreme Court.

Democrats say the new maps aren't fair and until a resolution is reached, the date of our primaries is uncertain.

Typically, Lubbock voters head to the polls in March for the primaries, but as a result of the redistricting case in Washington D.C., the primary elections are scheduled for a month later - now April 3rd.

That date could be pushed back even further.

Already voters may have noticed their certificates haven't come in the mail.

An administrator with the county elections office says that's because of the pending lawsuit in Washington.

We spoke with Congressman Randy Neugebauer, Texas Tech political science professor Craig Goodman, and Lubbock County Elections Administrator Dorothy Kennedy and they all told us one thing - it's a confusing time to be a voter.

"It's very complex and very much in limbo right now," Congressman Randy Neugebauer said.

Texas Tech political science professor Craig Goodman says that limbo could impair voters until a new redistricting map is agreed on.

"The longer this gets pushed back, the election season's going to get compressed, and as voters we might not have as much information as we'd like about the candidates," Goodman said.

Right now voters should plan to cast their ballots in April.

"We currently have the April 3rd court order," Kennedy said.

Goodman says by the time Texans head to the polls, the race may already be over.

"It's quite likely that the Republican nominations will be locked up by that point," Goodman predicted.

Congressman Neugebauer says it's even more complicated for races at the state level.

"For some of the state reps, their districts have been shifted around a little bit so they're waiting to see what the final district is going to look like," Neugebauer said.

One possibility is to split the primaries, allowing Texans to cast their vote for presidential candidates until the state redistricting maps are finalized.

Kennedy says that would cost the taxpayers twice as much.

"If we did two of those for a potential split primary, than we would be at $800,000 to charge the state for the elections," Kennedy said.

Typically an election costs Lubbock County $400,000.

County officials hope it doesn't come to a split primary, but Neugebauer says only time will tell.

"Stay tuned - we'll see how this begins to unfold," Neugebauer said.

Kennedy says as long as those primaries are set for April, you should expect your voter registration cards in the mail by mid-February.

Stay with kcbd.com for the latest on the redistricting case in Washington.

Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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