Prof. Justin Levitt's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

When are the lines drawn?

 

Redistricting must be complete before the filing deadlines for candidates to run for office, so that candidates know where they’re running.

The schedules for 2021 and 2022 have been more mobile than usual.  The Census Bureau encountered serious problems in 2020, in part because of the pandemic’s disruption (both to response rates and to non-response followup operations), in part because of operational instructions to cut corners, and in part because of the fight over producing citizenship counts.  More recently, the Bureau announced that it would prioritize data quality — but to do so, it would delay its delivery of apportionment counts and redistricting data beyond statutory deadlines.  Those decisions, in turn, have been subject to challenge in the courts.

At the moment, the Census Bureau will produce apportionment counts by April 30, 2021.  A full user-friendly redistricting dataset will be available by Sept. 30, 2021, and a less user-friendly file in “legacy format” may be available in August.

These are the deadlines in state law for the primary designated body to complete redistricting (at the moment), along with the filing deadlines for the following legislative primaries.  As a result of the delayed Census data, several states are modifying these timelines, either through legislation or through the courts.  Those states that have already modified their schedules in light of the Census delay are noted below.

 

Congressional districts State legislative districts
End of regular
leg. session
Redistricting
deadline
Filing
deadline
End of regular
leg. session
Redistricting
deadline
Filing
deadline
Alabama 5/18/21 none 1/28/22 5/18/21 5/18/21 1/28/22
Alaska One congressional district n/a 90 days after
Census data
6/1/22
Arizona n/a none 4/4/22 n/a none 4/4/22
Arkansas 3/12/21 none 3/1/22 n/a 2/1/21 3/1/22
California n/a 2/14/22 3/11/22 n/a 2/14/22 3/11/22 modified b/c Census
Colorado n/a 9/1/21 3/15/22 n/a 9/15/21 3/15/22
Connecticut 6/9/21 9/15/21 6/7/22 6/9/21 9/15/21 6/7/22
Delaware One congressional district 6/30/21 6/30/21 7/12/22
Florida 4/30/21 none 4/29/22 3/12/22 3/12/22 6/17/22
Georgia 4/2/21 none 3/11/22 4/2/21 none 3/11/22
Hawaii n/a 150 days after
comm’n formed
6/7/22 n/a 150 days after
comm’n formed
6/7/22
Idaho n/a drafts 90 days after
comm’n formed
3/11/22 n/a drafts 90 days after
comm’n formed
3/11/22
Illinois 12/31/21 none 11/29/21 12/31/21 6/30/21 11/29/21
Indiana 4/29/21 4/29/21 2/4/22 4/29/21 4/29/21 2/4/22
Iowa 4/30/21 drafts 4/1/21 3/18/22 4/30/21 drafts 4/1/21
final 9/1/21
3/18/22
Kansas 5/14/21 none 6/1/22 4/10/22 4/10/22 6/1/22
Kentucky 3/30/21 none 1/7/22 4/15/22 none 1/7/22
Louisiana 6/10/21 none 7/22/22 6/10/21 12/31/21 8/10/23
Maine 6/16/21 6/11/21 3/15/22 6/16/21 6/11/21 3/15/22
Maryland 4/12/21 none 2/22/22 4/13/22 2/27/22 2/22/22
Massachusetts 12/31/21 none 6/7/22 12/31/21 12/31/21 5/31/22
Michigan n/a 11/1/21 4/19/22 n/a 11/1/21 4/19/22
Minnesota 5/17/21 5/17/21 5/31/22 5/17/21 5/17/21 5/31/22
Mississippi 3/15/21 none 3/1/22 4/3/22 4/3/22 3/1/23
Missouri 5/30/21 none 3/29/22 n/a 6 months after
comm’n formed
3/29/22
Montana n/a 90 days after
Census data
3/14/22 TBD (2023) 30 days after
leg. feedback
3/11/24
Nebraska 6/10/21 none 2/15/22 6/10/21 none 2/15/22
Nevada 6/1/21 none 3/18/22 6/1/21 6/1/21 3/18/22
New Hampshire 6/28/21 none 6/10/22 6/28/21 6/28/21 6/10/22
New Jersey n/a 1/18/22 4/4/22 n/a 3/1/22 4/3/23 modified b/c Census
New Mexico 3/20/21 none 2/1/22 3/20/21 none 3/8/22
New York n/a 1/15/22 4/7/22 n/a 1/15/22 4/7/22 pending const. amd.
North Carolina 7/30/21 none 12/17/21 7/30/21 7/30/21 12/17/21
North Dakota One congressional district 4/28/21 4/28/21 4/11/22
Ohio 12/31/21 9/30/21 2/2/22 12/31/21 9/1/21 2/2/22
Oklahoma 5/28/21 none 4/15/22 5/28/21 90 legislative days
from 2/1/21
4/15/22
Oregon 6/28/21 none 3/8/22 6/28/21 7/1/21 3/8/22 pending litigation
Pennsylvania 12/15/21 none 3/8/22 n/a 90 days after
comm’n formed
3/8/22
Rhode Island 12/31/21 none 6/29/22 12/31/21 none 6/29/22
South Carolina 12/31/21 none 3/30/22 12/31/21 none 3/30/22
South Dakota One congressional district 3/29/21 12/1/21 3/29/22
Tennessee 5/6/21 none 4/7/22 5/6/21 none 4/7/22
Texas 5/31/21 none 12/13/21 5/31/21 5/31/21 12/13/21
Utah 3/12/22 none 3/17/22 3/12/22 3/12/22 3/17/22
Vermont One congressional district 5/15/21 TBD (2022) 5/26/22
Virginia 2/27/21 60 days after
Census data
3/31/22 2/27/21 45 days after
Census data
3/30/23
Washington n/a 11/15/21 5/20/22 n/a 11/15/21 5/20/22
West Virginia 4/10/21 none 1/29/22 4/10/21 none 1/29/22
Wisconsin 12/31/21 none 6/1/22 12/31/21 12/31/21 6/1/22
Wyoming One congressional district TBD (2022) TBD (2022) 5/27/22