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Redistricting session could be earlier than expected

It appears state lawmakers will be able to start working on redistricting earlier than thought.

Census figures from North Dakota were not going to be available until the end of September. But now, it appears the data the Legislature needs for redrawing district boundaries will be available Aug. 16th.

"The Aug. 16th data will be the same data the Census Bureau will release at the end of September," said state Census manager Kevin Iverson. "The format it will be released in is intended for redistricting purposes."

State Sen. Raymon Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) chairs the Legislative Management Committee, that will appoint the special redistricting committee. In the past, he had chaired the Redistricting Committee.

"They (the committee) could meat easily in August, and have training on how the system works," Holmberg said. "Then maybe they could start holding hearings, where the public would weigh in."

Legislative leaders had said the special redistricting session may have to be held in December. But Holmberg said getting the Census information earlier could mean it would be held in November.

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