Census Bureau officials told the U.S. Department of Commerce that data work needed to compile population totals wouldn’t be complete until late January, or even early February, according to a report in The New York Times.
The news makes it yet more unlikely that New Jersey will redraw legislative district lines before next year’s elections.
Under a constitutional amendment approved by voters on Nov. 3, the state’s redistricting must be delayed if it does not receive census data by Feb. 15, a deadline the Bureau is unlikely to meet.
The delays are also likely to snarl President Donald Trump’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from counts used to apportion congressional seats.
Trump’s term in office ends on Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will take control of the White House. With data delayed until at least Jan. 26, Trump won’t be able to complete his plan to push more seats to whiter, more Republican states.
Though the delays likely render the issue moot, the president’s plan is set to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court later this month. Previous courts found it ran afoul of federal redistricting laws.