Hold Up In Census Data Used For Redistricting Could Lead To Delay In Pa.'s 2022 Primary

Feb 18, 2021

In this file photo, a voter casts a ballot in an election.
Credit Alex Brandon / AP

 

The U.S. Census Bureau said Friday that it will get redistricting data to the states by the end of September, not the end of March as originally planned, a hold up that Pennsylvania Republican leaders say could lead to a delay in next year’s primary.

 

“When you’re making decisions in life, it’s always good to have information as early as you can," said Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, who is one of the Republicans who will serve on the state’s redistricting commission.

 

The commission will use that Census data to redraw the state’s legislative and Congressional districts in time for the 2022 elections.

 

Senate President Pro Tem Jake Corman said he’s concerned about how late the data is. The 2022 primary is scheduled for May 17. Once the districts are redrawn, the district boundaries could effect candidates' decisions about running and signature collections needed to get on the ballot.

 

“It’s really going to put us in a time crunch to get this completed by the time you would do petitions next year, to the point where we may have to consider moving the primary back," Corman said.

 

The Census Bureau pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic for causing the delays.