US Census Bureau to release redistricting data Thursday

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The United States Census Bureau is expected to release data Thursday that will help states redraw their congressional and state legislative maps.

The data was supposed to be released in April, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The demographic data will include key indicators such as race, Hispanic origin, and voting-age population in specific geographic areas. The Alabama state legislature will use that data to redraw district boundaries for Alabama’s seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as state legislative and school board districts.

Alabama and Ohio sued the Census Bureau over the delay. As part of a settlement with Ohio, the Bureau agreed to release the data by August 16th. Thursday’s release will exceed that deadline by four days.

Alabama also sued the Census Bureau over new privacy rules that the state said would make redistricting data less accurate. Three federal judges rejected the state’s argument and allowed the bureau to proceed with the new privacy rules.

State legislators are planning to hold 28 public hearings in September to inform the public about the new congressional maps. The schedule for those hearings has not yet been finalized.

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