Census Bureau Says 2020 Data Will Be Released by September 30

The U.S. Census Bureau on February 12 committed to release the data necessary to complete the latest round of redistricting by September 30, 2021. The announcement almost certainly means that Virginia legislative districts cannot be redrawn in time for the 2021 state legislative races. 

In its announcement, the bureau said it would release the data for all states at the same time. Before Covid-19 delayed and impacted the implementation of the 2020 Census, the bureau provided the data for Virginia as early as March, which would have given the redistricting commission adequate time to complete its work, under the requirements of the recently passed constitutional amendment. 

Still to be determined is when new maps would be imposed on the General Assembly. Both members of the House of Delegates and the Senate would normally run again in 2023. Under the new schedule, maps could still be redrawn in time for the 2022 congressional elections. 

Click here for bureau’s full press release. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures has published a guide detailing how delays in the Census will impact the schedule for all states, including Virginia. 

Sara Fitzgerald, LWV-VA, Falls Church

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