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Redistricting
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Census Director Steven Dillingham faced sometimes harsh questioning from members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday after a Government Accountability Office report found the Census is behind in hiring staff and finding local partners to promote participation.

Study says census behind; director says not really

Through several hours of sometimes intense questioning, Census Director Steven Dillingham on Wednesday offered this response to House members worried about the success of the critical count that begins next month.

Don't worry. We got this.

But analysts at the Government Accountability Office, who released a new status report on the 2020 census as part of the hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, are not so sanguine.

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Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, speaks in opposition to partisan gerrymandering during a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in March 2019.

Democracy groups rally to defend independent redistricting in Michigan

A coalition of democracy reform groups is rallying in opposition to a lawsuit seeking to block Michigan from moving forward with a voter-approved independent redistricting commission.

The commission was approved as part of a 2018 ballot measure that transferred the power of drawing congressional and legislative districts from lawmakers to a 13-member body consisting of four Democrats, Republicans and five unaffiliated members.

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Big Picture
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Pete Buttigieg, campaigning in New Hampshire on Thursday, is the only candidate who is a clear "yes" on all 17 democracy reform proposals being tracked by The Fulcrum.

Where Democrats debating in New Hampshire stand on democracy reform

Seven Democrats have been invited on stage for Friday night's debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary, including three who have vowed that their first legislative priority as president would be enacting an ambitious clean government package.

Town hall meetings and candidate coffees in the first primary state have for months featured discussions about expanding voting rights, curbing money in politics and overhauling such bedrock government institutions as the Supreme Court, the Electoral College and the Senate filibuster. But the disagreements among the candidates have been subtle, and so there's no reason to believe the moderators will find new flashpoints or cleave new divisions on democracy reform topics at the debate, being conducted at Saint Anselm College in Manchester at 8 pm Eastern.

The table below shows where the seven candidates stand on 17 of the most prominent proposals for improving the way democracy works — in areas of campaign finance, access to the ballot box, election security, political ethics and revamping our governing systems.

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"Virginia is on the cusp of historic redistricting reform," argues Brian Cannon.

How Virginia’s move against partisan gerrymandering might be short-lived

Cannon is executive director of OneVirginia2021, which is campaigning to amend the state Constitution to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

Virginia is on the cusp of historic redistricting reform. The commonwealth is not known for being on the cutting edge of voting reforms, but following the success of redistricting reforms in Michigan, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and Utah in 2018, the winds of change are blowing to the mid-Atlantic.

Democrats newly in control of the General Assembly look increasingly likely to get behind a plan for turning the Legislature's power to draw all of Virginia's political boundaries over to an independent commission. But there are a couple of ways this could happen, one much more problematic than the other.

This means there is a looming threat all Virginians should consider: Reform in time for the post-census remaking of the congressional and legislative maps in 2021 could be undone by another redistricting later in the decade.

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