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
The BBC reports that Canada’s election watchdog claims that advertisements saying climate change is real may break the law, because it is a political opinion and “issue” advertising is partisan political activity. Canada has strict regulations on partisan advertising during the election period, whether they be from candidates, parties or third-party organisations. … Keith Brooks, […]
As long as he’s only up against one candidate and they don’t do anything stupid, Trump would lose to a sausage in 2020. Fox News has him deep underwater against every likely Dem candidate. A Fox News poll released Thursday showed President Trump losing head-to-head matchups against four of the top Democratic presidential primary contenders. […]
Wefail offers this charming collection of four banknotes, each featuring one of the four “horsemen of the apocalypse”, at least when it comes to the demise and presumed annihilation of Britain’s political stability. $50 a set. Four Wefail banknotes depicting the four horsemen: May, Rees-Mogg, Bojo and Thatcher. Early in 2019 I was asked to […]
Accidents happen. And when they do, you’re going to want a dash cam for a second pair of eyes. At the minimum, a decent dash cam can save you vast sums of time and money in case of an accident. But a really good dash cam can do a whole lot more. Here are six […]
The field of data analytics is growing as fast as the internet itself. Self-driving cars, airline pricing, and huge marketing campaigns are all driven by the insights that data scientists can distill out of vast sums of information. Even with the help of powerful software like Python, it’s a highly skilled position. But those skills […]
If you’re marketing on the web, your Google-fu needs to be strong – and up to date. Without a firm grasp on what drives traffic, you’ll never be able to take the wheel. That’s why even if you know where to put your keywords, a little extra effort goes a long way on any marketer’s […]