According to new estimatesAccording to the Census Bureau’s Thursday release, the 2020 census did not include Black people, Latinx people or Native Americans. This could potentially lead voters being disenfranchised, advocates warn.
All three groups were less than a decade ago, at higher rates. Latinx people were undercounted at a rate of around 5 percent, which is more than three times the rate in 2010. Blacks were undercounted about 3.3%, while Native Americans on reservation were undercounted over 5.6%.
The bureau also found that nonHispanic white people were being overcounted at 1.64 percent. These miscounts have already been usedRedistricting could give power to white populations, while further disenfranchising those already subject to voter suppression. The more accurate population counts from Thursday’s report won’t affect redistricting, according to the New York Times.
Experts believe that high miscounts could be due to difficulties due to COVIDEx-President Donald Trump tried to suppress the Census Bureau. Meddling from the Trump administration “wreaked havoc” at the Census Bureau, NPR reported earlier this year, and pressed the agency to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count.
Trump managed to get the count cut by a month. Experts agree that his efforts were a Transparent campaignTo expand GOP power, while potentially sabotaging local government funding, which is based on census counts.
The census provides population counts can be used by redistricting officials to determineThe number of districts that should be majority nonwhite in a given state. The government also uses census data for guidance in deciding where to direct its resources. $1.5 trillionA year to the state and local governments for things such as health care. The bureau has long undercountedOvercounted whites and marginalized populations
Groups representing Black, Indigenous and Latinx people were outraged over Thursday’s report.
“A year ago when the first results of the 2020 Census were released, we said we smelled smoke. The [Census Bureau’s] estimates released today confirm that this census was a five-alarm fire,” Arturo Vargas, the CEO of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, said in a statement. Vargas said in a press callHe said that he had never seen a so large Latinx population in the three decades he followed the census.
“These results confirm our worst fears,” Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said in a statement. “Every undercounted household and individual in our communities means lost funding and resources that are desperately needed to address the significant disparities we face.”
Groups like the National Urban League sayThey could file litigation against the results, but may have limited legal options. “We’ve talked about voter suppression. Now we see population suppression,” National Urban League president Marc Morial said.
Advocates have previously sued over Trump’s obstruction of the count, alleging that the bureau violated its duty, as set by the Constitution, to accurately count the population.