Despite efforts by state lawmakers to avoid a confusing election schedule in 2012, that may be exactly what many Texas voters face next year anyway. Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill this summer tweaking the election laws to comply with new federal rules designed to make it easier for members of the military to vote.
A key side effect is that the measure pushes back runoffs from next year’s March 6 primaries into May, when cities, school districts and other local entities hold elections. Early voting for primary runoffs would begin just days after the May 12 local elections. Supporters of the legislative action predicted that the new rules would lead local entities to move their elections to next November or to the following May.
Instead, many cities and school districts are scrambling to hold on to the May 12 local election date. If it works out, next year’s election calendar could be confusing for many voters.
Over three months, some voters would face a primary, followed by city and school elections, followed by primary runoffs, followed by city and school runoffs. And then, of course, the statewide and national general election next November.