According to a study released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island overcounted its population in 2020 by 55,000 residents. As a result, Rhode Island was able to hold on to a second congressional seat. John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, stated that the overcount occurred because people were “counted more than once” and speculated that it may have occurred due to “vigorous efforts of community groups.”
Mr. Marion did not criticize Rhode Island’s census counting efforts and instead tweeted “No do-overs with apportionment though!”
Rhode Island Republican Party National Committeeman Steve Frias commented:
“This is terrible. Rhode Island’s aggressive census counting tactics led to the equivalent of double-counting more than the entire population of the City of East Providence. Those who were involved or encouraged these aggressive double-counting tactics should be embarrassed rather than gleefully exclaiming on Twitter “No do-overs with apportionment though!”
The failure of so-called “good government” groups to even criticize Rhode Island’s census counting efforts is sad. This census count will further undermine public confidence in government. This will cause people to be even more skeptical of eliminating mail ballot safeguards and more strongly supportive of Voter ID and prohibiting ballot harvesting.
Democracy only works if people trust the system. Double counting 55,000 people in order to hold on to a congressional seat destroys that trust. To help restore public trust, perhaps the federal government should investigate exactly how Rhode Island census takers could have double-counted 55,000 people.”
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