For Immediate Release
David Vance, firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizenship Data Will Make Partisan Gerrymandering Much, Much Worse
New Common Cause report explains how drawing electoral boundaries based on citizens over age 18 advantages whites and steals representation from people of color
WASHINGTON - Drawing electoral boundaries using only data for citizens over age 18 abandons constitutional principles of one person, one vote, relies on fundamentally faulty data and is part of a patently partisan plot to shift representation away from communities of color to areas where white populations live, according to a new report released today by Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog group.
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- Using citizenship data for redistricting gives political party operatives multiple chances to undercount children and people of color and steal their representation. Legal residents who are counted in the census, for instance, could be deleted from the count used to draw electoral boundaries because of errors in administrative data sets.
- Not counting people under 18 and non-citizens when drawing electoral boundaries advantages “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” and disadvantages people in urban areas, where populations are more diverse, according to the late Thomas Hofeller's files. Hofeller touted this as a “radical departure from the ‘one person, one vote’ rule” upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court for the past 60 years.
- Using citizenship data for redistricting perpetuates fear of racial discrimination and immigration enforcement among legal residents and undocumented immigrants. Significant protections are in place to prevent census data from being used to target individuals for enforcement, but there are risks associated with creating a non-citizen database.
Read the Whitewashing Representation report here.
Read more about the Hofeller files here. A Wake County Superior Court judge is expected to rule on the public release of the Hofeller files on or before Oct. 27.
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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.