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From AP: Census delays scramble plans for states’ redistricting

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.

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.

“States that have done the exact same thing for decades in a row now have to look for alternatives,” said Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The full story, written by David A. Lieb of the Associated Press, was published March 28, 2021.

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