Albemarle, other municipalities will not receive Census data until fall

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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During the Albemarle Council Meeting Monday night, Jay Voyles, who has been leading the city’s Census efforts, informed the council that due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau will not send its redistricting data to states until late September.

Under normal circumstances, the U.S. Census Bureau would have disclosed redistricting data in March, giving local officials time to redraw maps based on the latest population statistics, Voyles said. The last redistricting was in 2010.

Once the data is released, “the determination will be made about whether redistricting will be needed or not,” Voyles said.

If local election districts fall outside a 5 percent margin of population difference, then redistricting would be required, he said.

To account for the delay in receiving the Census data, the State Board of Elections is proposing to the General Assembly that all municipal elections to be held later this year be moved to 2022.

For last year, Albemarle’s response rate for completing the required demographic information for the U.S. Census was roughly 62.8 percent of the population, similar to both the county (64.7 percent) and the state (63.4 percent). The non-response follow-up (where census takers knock on doors of households that didn’t already respond) was 99.9 percent.

Below are the self-response rates for the other Stanly municipalities:

  • Red Cross: 77.1 percent
  • Stanfield: 74.4 percent
  • Locust: 73.8 percent
  • New London: 67.7 percent
  • Norwood: 66.6 percent
  • Richfield: 64.4 percent
  • Oakboro: 60.4 percent
  • Badin: 49.7 percent
  • Misenheimer: 42.6 percent

Completing the Census is critical because the results gathered determine the numbers of representatives each state will have in Congress and are used by states to draw state legislative and school district lines. The results are also used to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds annually are spent across the country. Those funds are used for services like emergency response and fire departments, medical assistance and highways and roads.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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