Mar 27, 2000
Press Release
The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has issued an opinion that they will use corrected census numbers to determine whether state redistricting plans are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act - and will view as suspect states' use of uncorrected numbers.

"The Civil Rights Division's decision affirms that the undercount of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and American Indians in the uncorrected count is a violation of their rights. In the major civil rights issue of the year, the Justice Department is standing up for the right to be counted," said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) ranking member of the Census subcommittee.

The opinion was issued in a ruling on counterclaims by the Arizona Governor and Attorney General. On March 24th, 2000, the Department of Justice advised Arizona that they would not approve an Arizona law mandating the use of uncorrected census data for post-2000 redistricting. Arizona had enacted a bill in 1999 (Chapter 47) that prohibited the State from using census data corrected by the Census Bureau to adjust for undercount and over count of the population (known as sampling).

In the letter it sent, the Department of Justice stated a strong warning about the data the Department will use in reviewing post-2000 redistricting plans. The Justice Department said in its letter that if a state enacts a law prohibiting the use of sampled data to do redistricting, the Department of Justice announced that it would analyze plans using the corrected census figures derived from sampling techniques. The Department of Justice letter said: "[T]he Attorney General's review and assessment of any redistricting plan will not be restricted by the data that a particular jurisdiction elects to use in its redistricting process or its submission to us."