Common Cause is urging every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote “yes” on the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act (H.R. 8326) to ensure that future censuses are not subjected to the unprecedented level of malfeasance and politicization that plagued the 2020 Census count. The letter emphasizes the critical importance of conducting a transparent and accurate count of everyone in the United States each decade as our Constitution requires, because that count shapes the nation’s government, public policy, and budgets for a full decade.
“Americans expect and deserve a fair and accurate Census count free from the kind of partisan political abuse that we saw by the Trump administration in 2020,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “The Census has a profound impact on the lives of everyone in the nation for a decade and 2020 showed us the process must be protected. The Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act will serve a bulwark against political bad actors.”
The Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act will create two new expert committees at the Census Bureau to evaluate the process and make recommendations for improving and depoliticizing the count going forward. One committee will review statistical quality standards, and the other will focus on the decennial census and the American Community Survey in preparation for the 2030 Census. The Act will also limit the number of political appointees that can be appointed at the Bureau to reduce the potential for politicization.
“When the Census count is manipulated for partisan political gain, the nation suffers and communities lose out on funding for schools, roads, hospitals, and the political representation that they deserve,” said Keshia Morris Desir, Common Cause Census & Mass Incarceration Project Manager. “In 2019, the Trump administration went so far as to try to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census in an effort to drive down participation in the process for political advantage.”
In the ensuing court challenge to the citizenship question, Common Cause provided documents to the Supreme Court that showed the government’s real intention in adding a question on citizenship. In his majority opinion ruling against the citizenship question, Chief Justice John Roberts called the Administration’s reasoning to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census, “contrived.”
To read the full letter, click here.