Census data delay scrambles plans for redistricting; NC considers options

DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

Stymied by delayed census data needed for redistricting, some states are considering postponing their 2022 primaries or turning to other population estimates to start the once-a-decade task of redrawing voting districts used for U.S. House and state legislative elections.

The U.S. Census Bureau was supposed to provide redistricting data to the states by March 31, but after setbacks from the pandemic, it won’t be ready until mid- to late August and might not be available in an easy-to-use format until Sept. 30.

That’s later than the legal deadlines to complete redistricting in some states and could mean less time for court challenges, candidate filing and ballot creation. 

The delay has sent states scrambling to adapt. Some face the decision to sidestep their constitutional deadlines or draw stopgap maps that might not fully reflect population shifts in the past decade.

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