Op-ed: How many congressional seats will New York lose?


One of the major political questions this year is whether New York State will lose one or two congressional districts.

This is a tough question to answer because we might not know the results of the 2020 census until April 30 or even later. Even though federal law requires that state population totals be finalized by Dec. 31 in the census year, the COVID pandemic has thrown the entire census-taking process for a curve. This delays not only conducting the headcount that took place last year, but also the tallying of census numbers that are used to allocate congressional districts among the states, redraw congressional, state legislative and city council district boundaries, and distribute billions of dollars in federal funds for hundreds of programs.

While the census counting process should have ended last July, it was extended until October to make up for lost time caused by the pandemic. On top of that, former President Donald Trump sought to speed up the census counting process to facilitate his political goal of excluding non-citizen immigrants (or as he called them, illegal aliens) from the state population totals. These totals are used to allocate congressional districts to the states. Trump fast-tracked the census counting process to try to ensure that he could control the final numbers before his term ended last month. He failed.