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Sept 22 -- The Census Bureau invites public comments to OMB by October 22, 2021 regarding the Redistricting Data Program (RDP).
 
The RDP is one of many voluntary programs that collects boundaries to update the U.S. Census Bureau's geographic database of addresses, streets, and boundaries. The Census Bureau uses its geographic database to link demographic data from surveys and the decennial census to locations and areas, such as cities, congressional and legislative districts, and counties. To tabulate statistics by localities, the Census Bureau must have accurate addresses and boundaries.

Specifically, the RDP provides states the opportunity to delineate voting districts and to suggest census block boundaries for use in the 2020 Census redistricting data tabulations (Pub. L. 94-171 Redistricting Data File). In addition, the RDP periodically collects state legislative and congressional district boundaries if they are changed by the states. After the 2020 Census, states may use 2020 data tabulated for census blocks, voting districts, and possibly other geographic areas such as cities, counties, etc., as considerations when they draw their new congressional and legislative district boundaries. States are the only authority that can choose where and how to draw their boundaries. The boundaries collected in the RDP and other geographic programs will create census blocks, which are the building blocks for all Census Bureau geographic boundaries. While the geographic programs differ in requirements, time frame, and participants, the RDP and the other geographic programs all follow the same basic process:

1. The Census Bureau invites eligible participants to the program. For the RDP, the Census Bureau invites non-partisan state liaisons appointed by the legislative majority and minority leadership of each state.

2. If they elect to participate in the program, participants receive a digital copy of the boundaries the Census Bureau has on file. Participants review the boundaries and update them if needed. RDP participants can choose to review and provide their boundary updates using a free customized mapping software, or their own mapping software.

3. Participants return their updates to the Census Bureau.

4. The Census Bureau updates their geographic database with boundary updates from participants.

5. The Census Bureau uses the newly updated boundaries and addresses to tabulate statistics.

The Census Bureau is requesting a clearance to complete Phase 4: Collection of Post 2020 Census Redistricting Data Plans and Phase 5: Review of the 2020 Census RDP and Recommendations for the 2030 RDP.
 
Phase 4: Collection of Post Census Redistricting Data Plans. Between January 2022 and July 2022, the Census Bureau will solicit from each state the newly drawn 118th Congressional Districts and State Legislative Districts. This effort will occur every two years in advance of the 2030 Census to update these boundaries with new or changed plans. A verification phase will occur with each update.

Phase 5: Review of the 2020 Census RDP and Recommendations for the 2030 Census RDP (2020 post-data collection). As the final phase of the 2020 Census RDP, the Census Bureau will work with the states to conduct a thorough review of the RDP. The intent of this review, and the final report that results, is to provide guidance to the Secretary and the Census Bureau Director in planning the 2030 Census RDP.  
 
RDP website: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/about/rdo.html
RDP submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202109-0607-007 Click IC List for forms, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments on this site.
FR notice inviting comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/22/2021-20512/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
 
Point of contact: RDO@CENSUS.GOV
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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