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DES MOINES, Iowa — The people who draw the election boundaries in Iowa are working under a difficult deadline.

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, an Iowa Legislative Services Agency bipartisan body, has until September 1st to come up with the boundaries for all Iowa House, Senate, and congressional districts.

The boundaries are determined by the 2020 census and that’s where it get complicated. Because of COVID-19, the census is significantly delayed.

“Has there been conversations with the census bureau about us getting that data farther in advance, and has that happened prior to this year and this redistricting process,” said Democrat Deidre DeJear, a member of the commission.

Ed Cook, legal counsel for the Iowa Legislative Services Agency, said, “The Census Bureau has been very specific. They say it’s going to be by September 30th.  Obviously, it could mean it could be somewhat before then. They have indicated in their press release that they will be releasing the data for all states at one time.”

The commission could use preliminary census data that is collected annually to decide the boundaries and then finalize them once the full county is complete.

Other members of the commission are Republicans Chris Hagenow and David Roderer. The other Democrat member is Ian Russell. The commission has yet to choose its fifth member, who will act as the body’s chairperson.

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