FairVote senior fellow David Daley appeared on NPR and Slate’s podcast this week, warning of the dangers of the proposed widely controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire. Echoing many others on the topic, Daley explained how adding this question will likely contribute to a dangerous undercount and other unconstitutional repercussions.
In NPR program 1A’s Stand up and be counted: the 2020 census, Daley discussed how the proposal defies the goal of the census: to count every individual in the nation.
“An accurate count matters for drawing local lines, state lines, it matters for funding formulas, it is crucial to have an accurate count, and it’s one of the reasons this question has caused so much controversy. There’s the possibility that in the middle of this very fraught political climate, there’s the question: can you get an undercount on the census?”
He continued, “If you can have an undercount, and if you’re undercounting in communities of color, especially in states like California and New York, what you end up seeing is a redistribution of political power away from urban populations and away from minority communities back towards whiter, rural, more Republican-leaning neighborhoods.
In Slate’s podcast, The GOP Operative Haunting Republicans From the Grave, Daley went on to describe the dangers of this proposal given the increasingly common political manipulation of maps.
“The technology is now so good, and the polarization is now so seemingly permanent and the data on voters is so precise, that you are able to draw gerrymanders that can endure so much longer than the ones drawn in the 1980s and the 1990s.”