That’s right, thanks to COVID-19, the Census is drawing more attention than usual. Given the pandemic and its impact on everything from people’s living situations to the USPS, Census deadlines are becoming a front and center issue. The main matter at hand is what deadlines are feasible for the Census Bureau to make and whether any short cuts will affect the accuracy of the count. This is important because it affects congressional and legislative boundaries as well as $1.5 trillion in federal funding. This is a big deal, especially if you’re thinking about running for office in 2021 or 2022.
The Census count that was originally scheduled for completion on July 31, 2020 is just now winding down on or around September 30, 2020. Census experts believe that they can still make their statutory December 31, 2020 deadline to deliver numbers for apportionment to the President. Unfortunately, that data set doesn’t include the more detailed demographic information needed for redistricting. The experts don’t expect to deliver that information until April 1, 2021—an acute problem for states like Virginia and New Jersey that vote for their state legislatures in November 2021.
Although, the Census Bureau typically tries to release data for states like Virginia and New Jersey first, there are at least a dozen other states that face potential constitutional or statutory redistricting crises for not getting the date sooner. This will cause even more states to have delayed redistricting processes.
If you are planning on using the results of the 2020 Census as an indicator for whether you should run for office, don’t. Districts are going to take shape quickly, and you need to have a winning plan in place before your state finalizes their district lines.
LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION?
These are unprecedented times, and it’s more important than ever to have a solid plan in place for your campaign. To learn more about how to best prepare for the unexpected or how TLC Political can help you launch a nimble, thought provoking, and winning campaign, contact us at email@example.com.