Census figures will be released today

By on Thursday, August 12th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Census Bureau will release the first demographic statistics from the 2020 Census at a news conference set for 10 a.m. this morning (Thursday). These statistics may be used to redraw congressional and state legislative voting districts across the country.

That means Oregon State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) will get busy crunching numbers. He is serving on the Senate Redistricting Committee. A similar panel has been appointed in the House of Representatives.

“We’ll start a series of meetings to do the jobs that we’ve been elected to do and that state law requires us to do,” Hansell said.

In addition to redrawing legislative districts based on population, the Oregon Legislature is to create an additional district for a new U.S. House of Representatives district. Normally, redistricting is done every 10 years during the state legislative session. That was impossible this year, as the figures are months late due to the pandemic.

A court-ordered special session will be held by the Oregon Legislature to consider redistricting the third week of September. If the lawmakers can’t agree, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, is supposed to perform redistricting. She is in the process of appointing a group to aid her if that is the case.