Redistricting confusion has played havoc with this state’s political maps and primary schedule over the last few months. Last Saturday, however, it may have actually botched the results of a couple of school-district races.
North East ISD has come under fire this week because district officials misinformed candidates in NEISD’s three trustee races about their district boundaries, and didn’t correct the information until the second day of early voting. For Tom Lessner, who lost his race by six votes, and Betty Daise, who came up only 67 votes short in her election, all this misdirection might have made the difference between winning and losing.
The root of the problem will be familiar to anyone who has followed the way redistricting has paralyzed Texas politics for much of the last year. Early this year, North East ISD submitted new district maps to the U.S. Justice Department, with the expectation that those maps would be used for this year’s election. But the Justice Department has been slow to approve the maps, and as the May election approached, district officials realized they’d need to revert back to their old 2001 maps.