New Evidence Exposes GOP Census Rigging

Common Cause has obtained new evidence confirming how political operatives have spent years plotting to rig our democracy with a Census citizenship question.

First, the New York Times publicized a shocking study, written by the GOP’s chief gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller, that lays out a plan to add the citizenship question on the Census. The purpose? Manipulating our Census and redistricting process to be, in Hofeller’s words, “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”

Now we have evidence that Hofeller communicated with a top Census official about citizenship when the department was preparing to re-engineer the 2020 census.

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Back in 2015, a Republican operative named Thomas Hofeller — once called “the Michelangelo of the modern gerrymander” — was hired by a Republican megadonor to conduct a study: what if the rules of redistricting were changed to draw legislative districts based on the number of voting citizens living in them, not the total number of people living in a state?

Hofeller recognized this change would be a “radical departure from the federal ‘one person, one vote’ rule presently used in the United State[s].”

Hofeller even recognized that it would be hard to convince the Supreme Court to mandate this change, unless… they could figure out how to add a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 Census.

Then, in the next round of redistricting, the plan was for Republicans to use that citizenship data to supercharge their partisan gerrymandering strategy: excising a large number of Americans out of redistricting altogether, and packing the remaining Democrats and voters of color into as few districts as possible.

Hofeller’s documents are a “smoking gun” — exposing exactly how he and his fellow operatives worked to undermine the integrity of our Census, manipulate redistricting, and rig the elections for partisan advantage.

Now that their plan has been revealed, it’s important for all of us – the courts, leaders, and the people – to stand up for a democracy that includes every American voice.