NPR (AUDIO): 6-Month Delay In Census Redistricting Data Could Throw Elections Into Chaos
There's a tension between the bureau having enough time to produce accurate information and states and localities having to meet redistricting deadlines. And that could create ideal conditions for gerrymandering, says Kathay Feng, national redistricting director for Common Cause, a government watchdog group.
"There is a quiet conversation going on in legislatures right now about whether the delay actually might be a helpful game changer to allow them to pass midnight bills and do the dirty work outside of the scrutiny of the public," Feng says.
"We are heading into a redistricting cycle where it will be a bare-knuckle battle for control," Feng says. "Those who are in power are going to use every tool in the toolbox to try to eke out a win. And if that means passing gerrymandered maps in the dead of night, they're going to do it."