Split Texas Primary Looking Likely

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In an order issued this afternoon, the San Antonio court asked the parties to appear for a status conference this Friday, January 27, at 1 p.m.

However, the court told the parties that if they wish to maintain a unified April 3 primary date that they would need to agree among themselves on interim maps by February 6. (Yes, there probably is some parallel universe out there where this will happen- and Greg Abbott has a beard – but my irking suspicion is that it's not this one.)

If the parties are unable to agree upon maps, they are to submit a list of unobjected to districts by February 6 for the court's consideration.

The court also said that it was giving 'serious consideration' to a split primary and asked the State of Texas to be prepared on Friday to say whether it would reimburse counties and political parties for the added expense.  That added costs is expected to run somewhere in the neighborhood of at least $13 million.

The also asked all parties to be prepared to discuss two alternative options for split primaries: one that would have a presidential (+ precinct chair) primary on April 3 and another that would have an April 3 presidential primary and primary countywide and whole county races (+ precinct chairs).  [Before you ask, it's not entirely clear why the court rolled precinct chair elections into the first option except that it seems to be under the impression that having precinct chair elections is necessary to start the process of having precinct conventions.  It'll get sorted out.]

The court's order is available here

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