Bernie Calls for Pursuing Census 'Recount' if 'Bigoted' Citizenship Question Stays

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said he would pursue a recount of the 2020 Census if the “absolutely bigoted language” of the citizenship question stays.


“I think it was a damn good idea to say that we’re not going to fund money for the census unless that absolutely bigoted language is taken out of the census. So I think we might want to jump in before [the 2020 election]. And second, I think, as others have stated, I think if, as you indicate, and I believe would be the case, there would be a significant undercount, which means that minority communities would have less representation in Congress,” Sanders said on Friday at a candidate forum in Miami during the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

“Those communities would get less federal money. I think we would look about the possibility, the constitutionality of in fact doing a recount,” he added.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, shared the same view as Sanders on a potential recount.

“We’ll recount it if we have to. We’ll count it until we get it right. Every person will be counted in America if I’m president,” he said at the forum. “The new American majority is going to be a Latino majority. The president knows this and he’s trying to hold us back, but we’re not powerless. So in the Congress right now, we’re not gonna fund discriminatory census practices.”


Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, promised to “do everything that I can to make sure that we do an accurate count.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, called for a recount if the citizenship question remains.

“I would immediately, as president, in my first 100 days, get rid of that citizenship question, if it is still on there — that’s the number one. Number two, we will have to have a recount, if the Supreme Court persists in including this question on there,” she said at the forum.

The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that the 2020 Census count would cost $15.6 billion, which represents a “27-percent increase from its 2015 estimate,” according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 Census with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal justices on the court in a 5-4 decision.


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