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States were allowed to "suggest" features on census maps that they wished the Bureau to maintain during the establishment of census block boundaries. The boundaries were used to provide population totals to the States. Most of states that participated in this voluntary program suggested features like streams, ridge lines, and overhead power lines, that corresponded as closely as possible with the current or projected boundaries of their election precincts, wards, or polling areas (which we refer to generically as "voting districts" (VTDs).
During this phase, the Census Bureau returned to the states--on a flow basis--census maps and electronic files showing all features (e.g., roads, rivers, ridge lines) that were used in creating census blocks for tabulating population totals for redistricting. States then had several months to outline their election precincts (i.e., VTDs) using the features shown on these maps and files and to return the maps/files to the Census Bureau for incorporation into the geographic data base that will be used to take the census.
Under the provisions of Public Law 94-171, the Census Bureau is required to provide each governor and the majority and minority leaders of each state legislature with Census 2000 population totals for counties, American Indian areas, cities, towns, county subdivisions, census tracts, block groups, and blocks.
States that participated in Phase 2 of the Census 2000 Redistricting Data Program received data summaries for local voting districts (e.g., election precincts) that met the Bureau's technical criteria. These Census 2000 Public Law 94-171 Redistricting Data included population totals by race, Hispanic origin, and voting age and were accompanied by census maps showing blocks, census tracts, counties, towns, cities (as of their January 1, 2000 corporate limits), county subdivisions, and voting districts. (NOTE: Some states may have also defined their current legislative districts and totals would be included for these areas as well.) Comparable geographic TIGER/Line® files were also provided to these designated state officials under Public Law 94-171.