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2022 Texas Election Dates in Flux?

The 2022 Texas primary election date could see a serious shift if new electoral district maps are challenged in the courts. The 2022 primary, primary runoff, and general election dates could also see serious shifts if legislative proposals filed at the Capitol this year were to pass.

Uncertainty about the March 1, 2022 primary election date already exists due to the timing of the redistricting effort, which for the most part, will not take place until the fall.

That’s because U.S. Census data will not be available for lawmakers to crunch until September at the earliest.

Regardless of how quickly lawmakers can draw up congressional and state electoral district maps, some of those maps will surely be called into question by the minority party.

Many will recall that similar court battles in 2012 delayed the March primary election until May.

The likelihood Texas could see a similar scenario in 2022 is strong.

It would be wise for broadcasters preparing their 2022 first quarter budget forecasts to reflect the fact that political advertising dollars may not be spent in earnest until the second quarter.

Several bills propose shifting 2022 dates altogether, rather than facing court-imposed date changes.

One contemplates giving the Secretary of State’s office the authority to shift the 2022 primary date should Texas lawmakers not have new district maps approved by Nov. 1 of this year.

Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, filed SB 1822 to provide the secretary that capability and the ability to adjust the corresponding candidate filing and procedural dates.

That would mean broadcasters may not know who is running for what office until the early part of 2022 rather than Dec. 13, the current candidate filing deadline.

Other proposed election date changes are contained in two bills filed by Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy.

HB 3347 would temporarily move the election of statewide officers and members of the Legislature to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd-numbered years.

In other words, the 2022 elections would not happen until Nov. 7, 2023. The provision would sunset in 2025.

Another Schofield proposal, HB 4402, would change the general election date for state and county officers to November of 2023 and move the corresponding primary elections, and their runoffs, to September of that year.

TAB is tracking these proposals and the progress of the redistricting effort and will keep broadcasters apprised of any firm changes to the schedule of dates for the 2022 elections.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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