Lack of Census data delaying redistricting decisions in Prince George

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FILE – This April 5, 2020, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration to end the 2020 census was another case of whiplash for the census, which has faced stops from the pandemic, natural disasters and court rulings. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) Decisions on any potential redistricting for Prince George County are being stalled due to a lag in finalizing 2020 Census numbers, according to county officials.

The data provided by the federal government is used in a variety of ways in addition to redistricting.

The county says 73.2% of Prince George residents filled out Census forms in 2020. But for some reason, confusion at the federal level in finalizing population data has caused a delay in turning the numbers over to state and local governments.

“The Board of Supervisors has its hands tied right now until the Census numbers are passed down from the federal level and upheld by the state legislature,” Prince George County Administrator Percy Ashcraft said. “There is certainly interest in this subject, but supervisors cannot move forward without accurate information.”

The county also stated the delay in redistricting has already affected nominations of 2022 candidates.

Prince George supervisors appointed a Census Complete Count Committee in 2020 to monitor the results gathered by census takers. The county says the committee is now on pause in activities because they are waiting to see if it will be needed when new data comes in.

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