Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Texas GOP Official Says Even April 17 Primary Doubtful

From Michael Li's Texas Redistricting Blog:

Former Harris County tax assessor/collector Paul Bettencourt - who serves on the Republican Party of Texas’ redistricting committee - told the San Antonio Express-News that an April 17 primary might not be possible. According to Bettencourt:

“Even at warp drive, it’s (at least) 75 days” to get ready for an election without the complication of redistricting, he said. “Even April 17 is doubtful,” he said about an alternative date offered by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday.

The full article by Nolan Hicks here .

Keep in mind that the first day of early voting for an April 17 primary election date would be April 2.

After the SA court orders new district maps, county election officials must map election precincts to match those interim district maps. Then, those precinct maps must be precleared by the USDOJ, or the court, before election officials can get started on all the other early voting preparations.

Election officials in the larger counties would have a difficult time pulling together early voting by the last week of March, even if the SA court sets all the maps by late day Friday Feb. 17. That gives counties just 5 weeks to draw and clear precinct maps and then produce the early voting part of a April 17 primary election.

Voter registration cards must be in the mail no later than March 23-26 to be in the hands of voters by the Friday or Saturday before the first day of early voting on Monday April 2.

Voting machines and electronic poll book computers would have to be programmed and all other materials prepared by March 27-28 so they can be delivered to early voting locations.

During that same 5 weeks county election officials must also process vote by mail applications and return mail ballots to voters, both overseas and at home.

That all is a little like trying to put 2o pounds of sugar in a 10 pound bag...

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