Redistricting data for Maryland and three other states will be released next week, said U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves, at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday.
“Summaries of population totals, as well as data on race, Hispanic origin and voting age” will be included in the release, according to a statement from the Census Bureau.
Redistricting data based on the 2010 census is released to all 50 states on a rolling basis between the beginning of February and April 1, a legal deadline, Groves said. The data will be used by state legislatures to draw lines for legislative representation, Groves said.
The Census Bureau considers two main factors in determining the release order of redistricting data, Groves said: The complexity of certifying the data — some states’ data takes longer to process — and each state’s election schedule.
States with off-cycle elections, in 2011, are likely to receive redistricting data earlier than states that do not have elections until 2012, said Cathy McCully, chief of the Census Redistricting Data Office.
Maryland’s statewide elections are not scheduled until 2012 but the state’s data release was expedited because Baltimore City Council elections are scheduled for next fall, McCully said.
Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey and Mississippi will be the first states to receive redistricting data, which will be released later this week. In addition to Maryland, Arkansas, Indiana and Iowa will receive data next week, Groves said.
-By Capital News Service’s Steve Kilar