Jennifer Nou on the Census Case and Election Results

Policing a Partisan Census

The Census Case, argued tomorrow, could influence elections for the next decade. The decennial count forms the basis for the apportionment of congressional districts and state redistricting efforts. Suffice to say that a lot of hand-wringing goes into counting people. No wonder that litigation was swift to follow the Secretary of Commerce’s decision last March to add the following question: Is this person a citizen of the United States? The immediate fear was that the question would skew response rates, particularly among the Hispanic population. Those inaccuracies, in turn, would ultimately benefit the Republican Party that helped appoint the Commerce Secretary. Some thus perceived the agency’s decision as a nakedly partisan maneuver.

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