OLR Research Report

November 4, 2008 2008-R-0588


By: Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst

Table 1 provides an overview of the five phases in the Census 2010 Redistricting Data Program. Table 2 provides a more detailed timeline of events and tasks the legislature, the Reapportionment Committee, and the Reapportionment Commission must complete. The tables are based on Census Bureau deadlines and activities, state constitutional requirements, and precedent.



Phase 1: State Legislative District Project

n The Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries.

n The Census Bureau collected ongoing changes to Congressional boundaries and developed new tabulations as needed.


Phase 2: Voting District (VTD) and Block Boundary Suggestion Project

n The Census Bureau collects updates to legislative and congressional districts, if any.

n The Census Bureau collects VTD boundaries.

n The Census Bureau tabulates data for legislative districts using the American Community Survey data and Census 2000.

n States submit block boundary suggestions for inclusion in the 2010 Census block tabulations.


Phase 3: Data Delivery for the 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program

The Census Bureau delivers population counts and its TIGER maps to the official designated state liaisons. TIGER maps will be delivered before the population counts (also called the P.L. 94-171 data), which must be delivered by April 1, 2011, one year following Census Day. The TIGER maps are the electronic maps that are used to take the decennial census, report population counts, and conduct redistricting. The maps show, among other things, town borders, Congressional and legislative district boundaries, 2008 VTD boundaries, and census blocks. The P.L. 94-171 population data includes: total population, population age 18 or older, race, and Hispanic origin.

Table 1: -Continued-


Phase 4: Collection of the Post-2010 Census Redistricting Plans

n The Census Bureau collects state legislative district and Congressional plans (drawn using Phase 3 materials).

n The Census Bureau produces geographic and data products and materials for Congress and Congressional District data summaries and maps.


Phase 5: Evaluation and Recommendations for Census

n States review the successes and failures of the Census Bureau to meet the requirements under P.L. 94-171.

n The Census Bureau produces final report incorporating states' views for the Census 2020 program.

Source: 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program

*Phase 2 began in 1998 for Census 2000. It began in 2007 for Census 2010.


September 2003

n The Office of Legislative Research (OLR) and the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) initiated a project to enter election returns at the voting district level.

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices entered 2002 election results.

Summer 2005

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices entered 2004 election results.

January 2006

n Phase 1 mapping completed.

n Connecticut provided to the Census Bureau a census block equivalency file and Arcview shapefiles describing state legislative districts.

Spring 2006

n OLR began preparing for Phase 2 by mapping voting districts.

n VTD maps for 2002 and 2004 elections are complete.

May 2007

n The Census Bureau invited states to join Phase 2 of the program. Acceptance means that the state will receive population counts for VTDs. Connecticut accepted.

Summer 2007

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices entered 2006 election results.

Summer 2008

n Staff redistricting working group formed consisting of representatives from all four caucuses and nonpartisan staff to plan the redistricting project.

n Group authorizes nonpartisan staff to work with the Secretary of the State's office to determine a means to acquire voting district-level election results more quickly following an election.

Table 2: -Continued-


n The Census Bureau provided software and one county's TIGER map (New Haven) to test entry of VTD boundaries in summer 2008. States were scheduled to receive the balance of the state's counties for VTD entry in October 2008.

n Connecticut, like many other states, found the software time-consuming to use and the map files flawed.

n The Census Bureau reviewed state reactions to its software and map files, examined the map files, and announced in September that it would release improved software in November 2008 and that the balance of the maps for the state will also be released in November.

n The Census Bureau also announced that if it finds errors in the map files for certain counties, it will release improved map files in February 2009 for states to enter VTD boundaries.

n All of Connecticut's counties have errors and will be released some time in February. VTD boundaries must be entered and returned to the bureau by May 1, 2009.

n In September, Connecticut asked for an extension until July 15, 2009. The bureau denied the request but offered additional staff support.

2008 and 2009

n Legislative leadership determines organizational structure for redistricting.

n Issues include: common purchase of computer equipment and software, support role of nonpartisan staff, assigning caucus staff, and whether to hire one or more consultants to assist in preparing for and conducting redistricting.

Fall 2008

n The Secretary of the State's office asks towns to submit voting district-level returns immediately after the election (two months before their statutory deadline).

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices enter voluntarily-submitted 2008 election results in December 2008 prior to the start of the legislative session.

Summer 2009

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices enter the remainder of the 2008 election results.

January 2010

n The Office of Legislative Management (OLM) issues a request for proposals (RFP) for redistricting software.

March 2010

n Possible demonstration by software vendors who respond to the redistricting software RFP.

April 1, 2010

n Census count taken.

April 2010

n Caucuses choose a software vendor or vendors.

May 2010

n OLM requests legislative leadership approval to award software vendor contract or contracts.

Summer or Fall 2010

n Redistricting offices are created for the four caucuses and nonpartisan support staff.

Fall 2010

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices enter 2010 election results if (1) the statutory deadline for towns to submit voting district-level election returns is made earlier or (2) towns agree to voluntarily submit them earlier.

July 2010

n Caucus staff receive redistricting software training from vendor.

By February 15, 2011

n By February 15, the top four legislative leaders appoint members to the Reapportionment Committee to advise “on matters of apportionment” in accordance with Article Two, 6 of the Connecticut Codified Constitution.

Table 2: -Continued-

March 2011

n Reapportionment Committee organizational meeting. (Establish public hearing schedule, among other things.)

Late March 2011

n Mail notices to legislators and other interested parties informing them of public hearings.

April 1, 2011

n The Census Bureau's deadline for reporting Census 2010 redistricting data per P.L .94-171 for, among other places, counties, towns, Congressional and legislative districts, voting districts, census tracts, block groups, and blocks.

April 2011 to

May 2011

n ITS and OLR construct Reapportionment Committee Website and make it public after obtaining approval from the caucuses.

Late June 2011

n Reapportionment Committee conducts public hearings in each Congressional district.

Summer 2011

n Clerical staff from the nonpartisan offices complete entering 2010 election results if the statutory deadline is not pushed forward or towns do not voluntarily submit them earlier.

September 15, 2011

n If the General Assembly fails to adopt a redistricting plan by two-thirds vote of the membership of each house by September 15, 2011, the governor must appoint eight members designated by the four top legislative leaders to a commission that then chooses a ninth member.

November 30, 2011

n The commission must prepare a plan by November 30, 2011. Once complete, it submits its plan to the secretary of the state. The secretary must publish it “forthwith,” and once published, it has the full force of law.