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Deadlines and Timelines for Congressional Redistricting

Following the release of census data, states must draw new voting district maps in 2021 and early 2022.

Last Updated: August 10, 2021
Published: August 10, 2021

On August 12, the once-a-decade redraw­ing of elect­oral district bound­ar­ies known as redis­trict­ing starts in earn­est with the Census Bureau’s release of the detailed, block-level popu­la­tion and demo­graphic data. Because this data is coming out much later than normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this decade’s redis­trict­ing process is expec­ted to be a rushed one.

All told, 18 states, includ­ing Ohio, Michigan, North Caro­lina, and Texas, have redis­trict­ing and/or elec­tion-related dead­lines writ­ten into state law that will require complet­ing redis­trict­ing this fall or early next year unless changed.

In addi­tion, 14 other states without early dead­lines nonethe­less custom­ar­ily complete congres­sional redis­trict­ing in the year ending in 1 or shortly after­wards. These states also could choose to try to redis­trict in 2021 in order to adhere as much as possible to tradi­tional elec­tion sched­ules. Redis­trict­ing could be complete in most of the coun­try by the end of the year or shortly there­after.

States with Upcom­ing Redis­trict­ing or Elec­tion Dead­lines

The follow­ing 18 states currently will have to redis­trict this fall or winter in order to meet consti­tu­tional or stat­utory dead­lines for complet­ing redis­trict­ing or in order to meet elec­tion-related dead­lines:

Other States That Could Redis­trict in 2021

Four­teen other states are not legally oblig­ated to complete congres­sional redis­trict­ing in 2021 or early 2022 but could choose to do so because they custom­ar­ily redis­trict in the year ending in 1. However, because these states have compar­at­ively late primar­ies, they also could choose to delay redis­trict­ing until 2022.