Texas faces the possibility of hosting two primary dates for November elections. While the district courts in San Antonio work to approve a map that appeases the attorney general’s office, Democrats, Republicans and minority groups, a deadline for hosting a uniform primary looms. If the court approves redistricting maps on Monday, the state would be able to maintain a joint April 3 primary date, said Chris Elam, spokesperson for the Republican Party of Texas. If they are approved by Feb. 20, the primary date would move to April 17, Elam said. But if it takes longer, the state may be faced with splitting the elections in two.
“If there were to be a split primary, it would be for splitting the offices on the ballot,” said Elam. “The presidential race would be on the first ballot and the other offices would be on a later ballot.” Elam said national races, such as the president and statewide races such as U.S. senate and the Texas Board of Education candidates, would most likely be held during the first primary, presumably on April 3. Because county and state races are more heavily influenced by redistricting, they would most likely be pushed back to a second date.
If the dates are split, it would cause more stress on county election workers and a tighter deadline to program voting machines. Cherokee County Elections Coordinator Shannon Cornelius said she will wait to stress until she sees the election timeline.