Assembly members John McKeon, Angelica Jimenez, Benjie Wimberly, Yvonne Lopez, Britnee Timberlake and Tom Giblin today introduced legislation (ACR-188) that would seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment that would reschedule legislative redistricting to 2023 if the census data is not available in time. The plan would keep the current legislative district maps in place for an additional two-year term until then. McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) and Jimenez (D-Bergen, Hudson) issued the following statements:
Assemblyman John McKeon: “This pandemic is creating an unforeseeable impact on the timeframe needed to get a complete and accurate census count. While we hope the federal government will be able to get it done, we recognize the critical importance of having an alternative course of action should delays come to pass.
“An undercount could not only prove detrimental to the way federal funding gets apportioned over the next decade, but would largely affect the way our communities are represented through all levels of government.”
Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez: “This amendment would eliminate any confusion about the process that would take place if a court is forced to get involved at the last minute. It would also prevent any group from receiving an unfair advantage from moving dates for elections. The amendment would also protect communities of color and other hard-to-count populations that stand to make significant gains due to increases in population over the last decade.”