Tags: census | delay | 2022 | midterm election | redistricting | electoral maps

Census Data Delay Hurting Plans for 2022 Election

2020 census forms are shown
(Alex Milan Tracy/AP)

Monday, 01 March 2021 12:14 PM

A six-month delay holding up data that states use to draw legislative districts is hurting plans for the 2022 elections, with some states talking about postponing primaries and how to get through legal deadlines for redistricting, Politico reported.

The Census Bureau announced in mid-February that redistricting data — the block-level population counts used to draw political boundaries for state legislatures and the House of Representatives — would be released by Sept. 30. The usual date is March 31.

At least nine states have constitutional or statutory deadlines to redraw their maps, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures — and it’ll be complicated by the data delivery delay, Politico reported.

“Basically we’re sort of panicking, and we’re not really sure what we’re going to do,” Jessika Shipley, staff director of Colorado's redistricting commission, told Politico. “We don’t have the option of just waiting and doing this for the 2024 cycle.”

The National Republican Redistricting Trust, the GOP’s hub for data and legal efforts on redistricting, is worried the delay could trigger litigation and force courts to take a significantly bigger role in the redistricting process, the news outlet reported.

"So we could wind up with a series of court-drawn maps around the country for 2022, only to have legislatures reconvene to draw new maps for 2024," Jason Torchinsky, an attorney with the NRRT, said late last month, Politico reported.

A few states have already taken action to give themselves more leeway, and they could serve as potential blueprints for their peers — including those seeking judiciary relief.

“We’re working with the attorney general’s office to see what options we may have,” Maine state Senate President Troy Jackson told Politico. "Our constitution never took into account what we’re dealing with here.”

The six-month delay will likely hold up candidate filing deadlines and primaries around the country, with Illinois, Texas, and North Carolina — likely to have March primaries and late 2021 candidate-filing deadlines — in the tightest squeeze, Politico reported. And in Pennsylvania, legislative leaders have floated the need to delay the state’s 2022 primaries, currently set for mid-May, Politico reported.

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Politics
A six-month delay holding up data that states use to draw legislative districts is hurting plans for the 2022 elections, with some states talking about postponing primaries and how to get through legal deadlines for redistricting, Politico reported. The Census Bureau...
census, delay, 2022, midterm election, redistricting, electoral maps
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2021-14-01
Monday, 01 March 2021 12:14 PM
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