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Vox Sentences: There’s some serious US Census drama

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The Trump administration is trying to change the census; Egyptian voters head to the polls.

Trump wants to add a citizenship question to the US Census

Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images
  • Late last night, some big, consequential news broke about the upcoming 2020 US Census — a huge data collection every 10 years that tracks how big our population is and what the country’s demographics look like (it helps determine how much federal funding should be spent and where congressional districts should be drawn). []
  • The Commerce Department announced last night that it would start asking census respondents whether they are US citizens, per a request from the Trump administration, something that hasn’t happened since 1950. [NYT / Emily Baumgaertner]
  • The department says its request comes from the need for better data to enforce provisions of the Voting Rights Act that push back against racial discrimination. But some advocates worry it will have the opposite effect. [NPR / Hansi Lo Wang]
  • The census is not relegated to just counting citizens; its purpose is to count the entire US population. By not counting undocumented residents, there are fears the government won’t have an accurate population count, with political and policy implications for years to come. [CNN / Steve Brusk and Gregory Wallace]
  • The reason there’s so much fuss over the citizenship question is that it could derail funding for public projects and alter voter districts. It’s a sign that the census (which is supposed to be nonpartisan) could be used for partisan ends. [Vanity Fair / Tina Nguyen]
  • The attorneys general in California and New York have already sued the Trump administration to prevent the change from going forward. [Washington Post / Samantha Schmidt]
  • Democrats are also vowing to fight the proposed change, and some state lawmakers have proposed legislation to combat it. [NBC News / Jane Timm]

Egypt’s President Sisi isn’t going anywhere ... yet

  • Egyptian voters started heading to the polls on Monday to cast ballots in that country’s presidential election, but the result likely won’t be much of a surprise. [CNN / Sheena McKenzie and Mohammed Tawfeeq]
  • It’s almost guaranteed that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will win reelection. Sisi only has one challenger, whom some have accused of basically being a prop candidate, to give the election a veneer of legitimacy. [Reuters]
  • Polls will remain open until Wednesday. The vote comes during a harsh crackdown on dissent, one of the most dramatic in Egyptian history. [Associated Press / Maggie Michael and Brian Rohan]
  • Even though Sisi will likely get a new term, there are signs that growing dissent could threaten his long-term prospects of staying in power or cause his government to use even harsher and more violent tactics to stifle protest. [Vox / Alexia Underwood]



“In that time, if you weren’t married or engaged by age 21, you were going to be an old maid. That was the thinking then. Isn’t that stupid?” [84-year-old Gwen Boller to Man Repeller / Jackie Homan]

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