Public Comment to Census Bureau – Deadline 8/7/18

Seal of the United States Census Bureau
The Census Bureau is accepting public comments on its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. To submit your comment before the August 7 deadline, visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/08/2018-12365/proposed-information-collection-comment-request-2020-census. 

The League of Women Voters opposes such a question, which will result in an unfair and inaccurate Census that fails to equitably represent the U.S. population. See more below under “Why It Matters.”

WHY IT MATTERS:
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently announced that there will be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The League of Women Voters vehemently opposes this measure, claiming that it will result in an undercount of those living in the United States and will jeopardize fair redistricting and the determination of the allocation of resources. Additionally, the call for a citizenship question is anti-immigrant in nature and will further instill fear, preventing immigrants from participating fully in the count.

The US Census, mandated by the Constitution, takes place every 10 years and counts every person living in the United States. The information it collects is used for redistricting and to allocate federal funds to local communities. A citizenship question has not been asked since 1950.

Some of the reasons you may offer in opposing a citizenship question on the 2020 Census:

  • Undermines an accurate count: Including a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census will damage the chances for an accurate count of our country’s population.
  • Change is a betrayal: This change to the way we count the number people living in the United States is a betrayal of the idea that in America, every person counts.
  • Misleading motive for the change: This decision isn’t about improving demographic data on citizenship to fulfill the Voting Rights Act. It’s designed to frighten immigrants-citizens and non-citizens alike-so they won’t participate in the Census. It’s a blatant political maneuver meant to disenfranchise these groups and deny them equal representation.
  • Undermines the rights of eligible voters and threatens democracy: Including this question on the Census undermines the rights of eligible voters and threatens a process vital to our democracy.
  • Jeopardizes the allocation of important resources: A fair and accurate Census is essential to the way the federal government allocates resources for infrastructure, education, and transportation. Census data is critical when determining resources for fire, water and trash collection.
  • The Constitution mandates an accurate count of ALL people: The United States Constitution mandates an accurate count of all people living in the United States — not all citizens. Non-citizens are an integral part of our economy and need to be included in the 2020 Census to paint a complete picture of our great country.

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