By Michael V. Hannigan
If you are waiting for your voter registration card, you are going to have to wait a little longer; redistricting in Texas has really become a headache.
Voting districts for the Texas Legislature and the state’s Congressional delegation are in limbo with two sets of maps drawn, one by state lawmakers and one by a group of federal judges in San Antonio, with neither approved yet. The confusion has pushed back the primary election once, and word this week is that the date could be pushed back again.
In addition, Henderson County officials are still waiting for U.S. Department of Justice approval for local redistricting of voting precincts. The county also moved the lines of the commissioner precincts and eliminated one Justice of the Peace precinct.
That’s a whole lot of shuffling with many voters still up in the air, which is why the state has ordered county officials like Election Administrator Denise Hernandez to wait.
“We’ve been mandated by the state (to wait),” Hernandez said this week. “We are waiting on the state and the fed.”
Hernandez said her office has been receiving numerous phone calls from area residents looking for their new voter registration card. Voters normally receive their new card every two years automatically, but that didn’t happen because of the redistricting mess.
“We are aware cards have expired,” Hernandez said, “but there’s nothing we can do right now.”
She is hoping state and federal officials will make their decisions quick enough to allow cards to be mailed by mid to late February – but even that it just a guess.
Hernandez also reminded area residents that you can still register to vote up to 30 days before any election.