The Daily Brew: U.S. Census Bureau will release 2020 data in easier-to-use format

Welcome to the Thursday, September 16, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. U.S. Census Bureau will release 2020 data in easier-to-use format 
  2. Redistricting Roundup: Ohio Redistricting Commission approves state legislative redistricting maps by party-line vote
  3. Federal Register tops 50,000 pages

U.S. Census Bureau will release 2020 data in easier-to-use format


The U.S. Census Bureau will release data from the 2020 census in easier-to-use formats on Sept. 16. In addition to providing the data.census.gov tool, the bureau will deliver DVDs and flash drives of the data to state legislatures and redistricting authorities on that date.

The Census Bureau released block-level data from the 2020 census in a legacy format on Aug. 12, which included county-level demographic information. That release allowed states to begin the process of drawing congressional and state legislative district maps.

The Census Bureau was originally scheduled to deliver redistricting data to the states by Mar. 30, but the process was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sixteen states have constitutional deadlines requiring that they complete their legislative redistricting this year, and eight have such deadlines to complete their congressional redistricting. 

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Redistricting Roundup: Ohio Redistricting Commission approves state legislative redistricting maps by party-line vote

Here’s a summary of the week’s noteworthy redistricting news from Iowa and Ohio. Authorities in seven states also released draft congressional or legislative maps:

Ohio: The Dayton Daily News reported that the Ohio Redistricting Commission tentatively approved new state legislative district maps by a 5-2 party-line vote on Sept. 9, 2021. If the Commission files those maps with the secretary of state, they will be effective for four years rather than 10 because they passed without support from at least two commissioners from each party. 

This is the first state legislative redistricting conducted under Ohio’s Bipartisan Redistricting Commission Amendment, which voters approved in 2015. The commission consists of the governor, state auditor, secretary of state, and four members of the state legislature—two from each party. Maps drawn by the commission are valid for 10 years if at least two commissioners from each major political party vote for them. If the maps pass along strictly partisan lines, they are valid for two general elections of the state House of Representatives.

The deadline for the commission to adopt final state legislative maps was Sept. 15. The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over all cases involving state legislative redistricting.

Iowa: On Sept. 14, the Iowa Supreme Court extended the deadline for state legislative redistricting to Dec. 1 due to delays in receiving data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The court said that because the process would not be complete by the state’s Sept. 15 constitutional deadline, it was exercising its responsibility and authority over redistricting. The Iowa Legislative Services Agency said that the Iowa Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission would release the first draft of proposed state legislative district maps on Sept. 16.

Nationwide: Redistricting commissions and state legislative committees in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, and New York all released draft congressional or legislative maps over the past week. 

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Federal Register tops 50,000 pages

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s overall regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions. We periodically update you about its status—here’s a recent report.

From Sept. 6 through Sept. 10, the Federal Register grew by 934 pages for a year-to-date total of 50,836 pages. By this point in President Donald Trump’s (R) first year as president, the year-to-date total was 42,578 pages. Last week’s Federal Register featured the following 449 additions:

  • 354 notices
  • Seven presidential documents
  • 29 proposed rules
  • 59 final rules

Ballotpedia has maintained page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project since 2017. Click below to learn more about how the Federal Register has changed from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.

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About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.