MARCH 15, 2021 — In declarations recently filed in the case of Ohio v. Raimondo, the U.S. Census Bureau made clear that we can provide a legacy format summary redistricting data file to all states by mid-to-late August 2021. Because we recognize that most states lack the capacity or resources to tabulate the data from these summary files on their own, we reaffirm our commitment to providing all states tabulated data in our user-friendly system by Sept. 30, 2021.
On Feb. 12, 2021, the Census Bureau announced that it will deliver the Public Law 94.171 redistricting data to all states by Sept. 30, 2021. Processing of 2020 Census data is proceeding as expected, and we expect to meet our previously announced deadline for the redistricting data release.
In recognition of the difficulties this timeline creates for states with redistricting and election deadlines prior to Sept. 30, we have reviewed our timeline to identify any opportunities to shorten the processing schedule. Our review confirms that all steps of data processing and formatting will be complete by Sept. 30. However, the final steps in our process include creating “tabulations” (data tables) from the data we have collected for each state and creating a user-friendly system for data access. We have determined that states should be given the opportunity to use an outside vendor to process legacy format summary redistricting data files if states do not have the capacity to tabulate the data on their own. The declarations filed March 12 note that given the difficulty of using the data in this format, any state using legacy format summary redistricting data files would have to accept responsibility for how they process these files; whether correctly or incorrectly.