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Social Explorer Study Referenced in Talking Points Memo Article on Census Question Controversy

SUNDAY, DEC 02, 2018

The debate over whether or not the U.S. Census Bureau should add a question to the decennial survey about citizenship is making its way through the courts all the way to the Supreme Court. There are major concerns that the question could discourage people from filling out the 2020 Census form, and thus undermine the integrity of the results, as Social Explorer's Andrew Beveridge has discussed multiple times. Looking to the next round of redistricting, the citizenship data could open the door for states to draw districts based on the count of citizens alone, rather than the entire population.  

In "How Changing The Census Clears The Way For A Major GOP Power Grab," Talking Points Memo reporter Tierney Sneed explores the possible partisan consequences and cites Social Explorer's interactive visualization project and report on what such a change to redistricting would mean:

study by CUNY-Queens College sociology professor Andrew Beveridge analyzing what would happen if states drew districts based on citizens of voting age rather than total population found that “more than half of all districts would be substantially changed.”

The study was conducted during the 2016 Supreme Court case, Evenwel v. Abbott, brought by conservative activists who sought unsuccessfully to prohibit states from including non-citizens in state legislative redistricting.

“The demographic shift in voting power would also substantially favor increasing the number of Republican-dominated districts,” his report said.

His report specifically analyzed state legislatures in New York, Florida, California and Texas.

“In every instance, redrawing districts using the eligible voter standard would most likely result in a shift from Democratic to Republican elected officials,” it said.

Click here to read the full article.

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