Whitewashing Representation: How Using Citizenship Data to Gerrymander Will Undermine Our Democracy
Using citizen voting age data to draw districts will exclude millions of young people and people of color, violates the Constitution and undermines the principles of equal representation that our country strives towards.
Understanding the intricacies of what administrative data is, how it is used and what challenges can arise from its use in the 2020 Census gives advocates the tools to fight back.
Takeaways from the report include:
- Administrative data on citizenship should not be merged with 2020 Census data in the redistricting files that are sent to states because the data will be used by partisan operatives to justify skewing electoral districts in a manner that, in the words of Thomas Hofeller, is “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites”.
- The integrity of the 2020 Census and American Community Survey data should not be tainted by inaccurate and unreliable administrative data on people’s changing immigration status. The administrative data on citizenship will exacerbate the undercount of children and people of color.
- There are significant legal protections that prohibit the sharing and use of census data to target individuals, but there are risks that advocates should be aware and vigilant of.