Redistricting map debacle creating chaos locally

NewsChannel 10

Potter County, Texas - Creating new redistricting maps in Texas has also created a mess.

A federal court in San Antonio has just days to come up with new maps, before the Texas primary has to be pushed back for a second time.

As if the uncertainty hasn't caused enough issues for the upcoming election, things could get worse and pretty costly.

As the redistricting debate continues in Texas, it's leaving everyone involved in the upcoming elections in limbo.

Because the election day keeps changing, county election offices can't print any voter materials.

It's also making it tough for candidates running for county office to campaign.

Sheriff Brian Thomas is running for re-election in Potter County. He says, "You inundate people with it and then they get bored with seeing it and then it doesn't mean anything to them. You don't want to do anything too early, but you don't want to wait to late, but at this point, you don't even know what's too early and what's too late."

Drawing out the process is not favorable to incumbents because their opposition now has more time to campaign.

It's also not favorable to the party conventions.

Potter County Republican Party Chairman Tom Roller explains, "How it affects the parties, both Republican and Democrat, is in order to participate as a delegate to first off, the county convention, you have to vote in the primary."

If the primary is once again pushed back, the county convention would also have to be pushed back, which would push back the state convention, a costly ordeal.

But where the real added expense comes in is if the state decides to hold two primaries.

That's because election costs for counties would now double, money that ultimately comes from taxpayers.

Knoxie Mathes, the Potter County Elections Administrator says, "Our early voting workers, just the pay alone was a little over $15,000 and then you come back and have another early voting period for a second primary, there's another $16,000 that hasn't been budgeted."

The delay is also frustrating  because the new lines won't even affect county offices to begin with.

Federal redistricting judges hope to come to an agreement this Friday, instead of waiting until the February 1st deadline.