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Redistricting: Estimating Citizen Voting Age Population

September 30, 2011 | Download

When determining how to draw electoral districts in a way that complies with the Voting Rights Act, many jurisdictions will need to consider proportions of citizen voting age population (CVAP). While the U.S. Decennial Census captures basic demographic information about all individuals in the United States, it doesn’t inquire into citizenship status. As such, line drawing officials will need to estimate CVAP through other means. This research brief explains Census Bureau data sources, including the American Community Survey (ACS), which estimates CVAP, but has some limitations for redistricting use. The brief then explains a method to use ACS and Census data in conjunction to develop more accurate CVAP estimates that are better for redistricting uses than ACS estimates alone.

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