The best way to fight gerrymandering is to prove to courts that electoral districts have been unfairly formed, a tactic that's been used successfully in places like North Carolina; but for this to work, you need good demographic data to show that the district is unfair, and for that, you need an accurate census.
The next census is planned for 2020, and Republicans have turned it into a "train wreck" by gutting its budget and fearmongering about risks to immigrants who give data to government officials.
Cathy O'Neil (previously) draws the line clearly between the ongoing sabotage of the census and the ongoing disenfranchisement project.
Problem is, the census appears to be going through a crisis. The bureau's director recently announced his resignation amid concerns about inadequate funding. This is troubling, because statisticians won’t have good data to make their corrections unless there's sufficient money to do enough house-to-house sampling. Moreover, the quality of the census depends crucially on following norms and having respect for expertise, none of which seems guaranteed under President Trump.
It’s possible that Republican self-interest will prevail. Although the party might benefit from undercounting minorities on a local level, it also has a big incentive to ensure that certain states with rapidly growing minority populations -- such as Texas -- are fully represented in Congress. Still, given what's at stake, it's a process that needs watching.
Unreliable Data Can Threaten Democracy
Republican Susan Collins [ME] and Democrat Jack Reed [RI] accidentally broadcast themselves saying “I think — I think he’s crazy. I mean, I don’t say that lightly and as a kind of a goofy guy” and “I’m worried. Oof, you know, this thing — if we don’t get a budget deal, we’re going to be […]
As Senators vote on proceeding to debate the secret Trump/GOP health care plan aka Obamacare repeal plan *they haven’t even seen,* protesters in the senate chambers and outside shouted “Kill the bill, don’t kill us.”
Protests are boiling over across Poland after the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) passed legislation that would allow the government to force the country’s judges, all the way up to the Supreme Court, to retire, allowing them to appoint new, party-friendly judges in their place. Update: Thankfully, the president vetoed the legislation.
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