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Voting & Elections 11.25.2020

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): We Are Thankful for Our (Imperfect) Democracy

Our democracy has endured wars, pandemics, natural disasters and now a lawless president. And despite that, next year will likely bring more unexpected challenges that we’ll confront as a nation. We nonetheless must be thankful for what we have, as imperfect as our system is. Change has often been cyclical, and following the scandals of the Trump administration, we may soon have a once-in-a-generation opportunity. If one thing is clear, it’s that we’re on the doorstep of passing a comprehensive reform package to put “we the people” back in charge of our democracy.

Voting & Elections 10.23.2020

Associated Press: Census takers fall short of target goal in areas of US

Rhode Island is one of about 10 states projected to lose a congressional seat, based on anticipated state population figures in the 2020 census. It could take as few as 30,000 overlooked people for the nation’s physically smallest state to revert back to having a single House district, said John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, a nonprofit watchdog.  The early conclusion of the census “is really going to stymie our efforts, not only to maintain that second district but also to have fair representation in our state legislature,” Marion said.

Associated Press: Scramble to get people counted as 2020 census winds down

“Everybody is leaning in hard to try to make sure they can reach as many people as possible,” said Kathay Feng, an official with Common Cause, the good-government advocacy group.

Washington Post: Trump asks Supreme Court to overturn lower-court ruling that blocked effort to exclude undocumented from apportionment

Other legal challenges to the memo include one by the government watchdog organization Common Cause, and several cities, groups and individuals that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, for which a hearing is scheduled next Tuesday. Dan Vicuña, national redistricting manager for Common Cause, called the administration’s legal arguments “preposterous.” “This is a nakedly partisan attempt to break the law by rigging the census, and we fully expect the same outcome in this case” as was decided in the lower court, he said. A Supreme Court ruling on this case could set precedent that would affect the lower court’s decision in the Common Cause case.

CBS News: Census delays could take toll on states

"You need to cement districts ahead of time, so candidates know where they're running, said Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director at Common Cause, a government watchdog organization. 

Washington Post: Trump faces multiple lawsuits over directive to exclude undocumented immigrants from representation

But even if it is likely the directive would lose in court, it is necessary to seek an immediate block to the directive because it could affect the 2020 Census count that is underway, said Kathay Feng, Common Cause’s national director of redistricting and representation. “It could affect response because most immigrant families have a mix of people of different status,” she said. The directive could also affect the Census Bureau’s process in deciding which households to go to, Feng said. Instead of attempting to count every household in the United States, she said, the bureau could “only go to households which they think fall into the category that the president wants counted.”

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