COLUMBUS, OH (WOWK)—Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost announced on Thursday the filing of a federal lawsuit to compel the release of population data by the U.S. Census Bureau. Specifically, the lawsuit seeks data relevant to Ohio’s upcoming congressional redistricting process.
“The federal government has chosen to drag its feet by delaying the release of census data instead of following the law,” Yost said. “The people of Ohio have found ways to meet their responsibilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – adapting how we run businesses, caring for loved ones, home schooling children – why should the government create a double standard?”
According to federal law, the Census Bureau is required to give states their data by March 31 so they have enough time to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to redistricting.
The Census Bureau announced on February 12 that the release of the data would be delayed until September 30 due to COVID-19-related delays. This means that Ohio (among other states) will not be able to use the new census data in its 2021 redistricting process.
“Laws cannot be arbitrarily changed by administrative fiat,” Yost said. “Even if it’s inconvenient, the Census Bureau must do its job.”