Missed Deadline Will Likely Delay Texas Primary | KERA News

Missed Deadline Will Likely Delay Texas Primary

Feb 6, 2012

There is a high likelihood Texas’ April 3 primary will be delayed. That follows the failure of groups battling over election boundaries to reach an agreement Monday as KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports.

Federal judges in San Antonio gave parties wrangling over election boundaries until Monday to compromise on interim election maps. If they couldn’t the judges said Texas’ April 3 primary would be delayed.

With the deadline looming, Attorney General Abbott said the state had reached an agreement with many minority groups who have opposed election maps drawn by Republicans in the legislature. Abbott said the state’s compromise maps resolve concerns that the legislature’s election boundaries violate the Voting Rights Act.

Abbott: What we believe we have done in the maps that have been posted is to reduce if not eliminate any legitimate dispute based on the Voting Rights Act.

Abbott said he believed it would now be possible to hold the Texas primary in April.

But a number of parties involved in the dispute made it clear: there is no deal. Representative Trey Martinez, (D) San Antonio, chairs the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Martinez says Abbott’s new maps still do not resolve concerns that the growing number of minorities in Texas will be given an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.

Martinez: I think if the map was even a fair portrayal of what needed to be done we would be more open minded about it. The fact of the matter is the overwhelming number of litigants has rejected these maps because they do run afoul of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act requirements.

Late Monday, Federal Judge Orlando Garcia ordered all sides to keep talking saying Abbott’s proposed agreement doesn't have enough support.

Judges have said if parties missed this deadline Texas’ primary could be pushed back as far as June.